Major stock markets in the Gulf put in a mixed performance on Tuesday amid falling oil prices and on expectations the U.S. Federal Reserve is likely done with interest rate hikes.
The minutes of the Fed’s November meeting are likely to offer more clues on monetary policy after evidence of slowing inflation boosted expectations that U.S. interest rates had peaked. The minutes are due to be released at 1900 GMT.
Monetary policy in the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is usually guided by the decisions of the U.S. Federal Reserve, as most regional currencies are pegged to the dollar.
The Qatari index was up 0.4%, ending previous session losses, aided by a 1.8% rise in Industries Qatar and 3% surge in Qatar International Islamic Bank.
Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index gained 0.1%, with Marafiq rising 1.7% and First Milling Co climbing 3.2%.
In Abu Dhabi, the benchmark index dropped 0.4%, weighed down by a 2.9% decline in Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank and 1.1% drop in the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company for Distribution.
Dubai’s benchmark index fell 0.4%, snapping three straight sessions of gains, dragged down by a 0.7% dip in developer Emaar Properties and 1.1% slide in Emirates Central Cooling Systems.
Oil prices - a catalyst for the Gulf’s financial markets - eased with Brent falling 0.5%, to $81.94 a barrel by 1300 GMT.
Outside the Gulf, Egypt’s blue-chip index inched up 0.1% supported by a 4.5% surge in Telecom Egypt and a 4.3% rise in Misr Fertilizer.
========================================= SAUDI ARABIA rose 0.1% to 11,129 KUWAIT added 0.4% to 7,292 QATAR gained 0.4% to 10,226 EGYPT was up 0.1% to 24,774 BAHRAIN ended flat at 1,946 OMAN was up 0.1% to 4,621 ABU DHABI dropped 0.4% to 9,542 DUBAI fell 0.4% to 3,985 =========================================