DUBAI: Most major Gulf stocks ended lower on Thursday after a hawkish message from minutes of the US Federal Reserve’s last meeting, while the Saudi bourse reversed early losses to close flat and the Egyptian index extended gains to a sixth day.
Minutes of the Fed’s December meeting released overnight showed while officials agreed that the central bank should slow the pace of interest rate increases, they remained focused on curbing inflation.
Meanwhile, top oil exporter Saudi Arabia lowered the February official selling prices (OSPs) for the flagship Arab light crude it sells to Asia to plus $1.80 a barrel versus the Oman/Dubai average, a source with knowledge of the matter told Reuters on Thursday.
The price is $1.45 a barrel less than the January OSP.
Saudi Arabia’s benchmark stock index closed flat, as losses in energy and financial shares were capped by gains in real estate stocks.
Index heavyweight Saudi Aramco slipped 0.5% while developer Retal Urban Development Company gained nearly 1%.
In Abu Dhabi, the benchmark index declined 0.3%, as the country’s largest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank eased 0.6% while fertiliser maker Fertiglobe tumbled 2.4%.
Alpha Dhabi and Abu Dhabi state fund Mubadala Investment plan to deploy up to 9 billion dirhams ($2.45 billion) in credit markets through a new joint venture, the companies said. Alpha Dhabi was down 0.6%.
Elsewhere, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) said on Thursday it would allocate $15 billion to decarbonisation projects by 2030.
Dubai’s main share index fell 0.4%, led by losses in real estate and financial stocks, as blue-chip developer Emaar Properties lost 1.4% and lender Emirates NBD was down 0.4%. The benchmark stock index in Qatar jumped 2.8% to close the week with a gain of 4.3%.
Outside the Gulf, Egypt’s blue-chip index closed 2.9% higher, touching its highest level since August 2018, with Commercial International Bank Egypt jumping 2.5 percent.