Major Stock markets in the Gulf fell in early trade on Tuesday, tracking declines in oil prices, with the US Federal Reserve’s hawkish tone weighing on investor sentiment.
Oil prices - a key catalyst for the Gulf’s financial markets - declined, with Brent crude down 1.2% at $92.16 a barrel by 0850 GMT.
Dubai’s benchmark stock index was down 0.7%, dragged by a 1.6% fall in Emaar Properties and 0.8% loss in Dubai Electricity and Water Authority. The emirate’s largest lender Emirates NBD and Dubai Islamic Bank slipped 1.1% and 0.8%, respectively.
Abu Dhabi’s benchmark stock index fell 0.4%, weighed by a 0.4% loss in International Holding Company and 1.2% drop in Alpha Dhabi Holding. Saudi Arabia’s benchmark stock index was down 0.3% with Dr Sulaiman Al Habib Medical Services losing 1.1% and Saudi Awwal Bank sliding 1.9%.
Among the losers, oil major Saudi Aramco shed 0.8% and Riyad Bank lost 1.1%.
In Qatar, the benchmark was little changed, with losses in finance and utilities sectors capping gains in industry and energy sectors.
Industries Qatar and Qatar Navigation added 0.6% and 1.2% respectively, while Gulf’s largest lender Qatar National Bank slipped 0.4% and Doha Bank dropped 1.4%.
The US Federal Reserve’s hawkish tone last week drove a message to markets that the interest rates will stay elevated for longer.
Monetary policy in the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is usually guided by Fed policy decisions, as most regional currencies are pegged to the US dollar.