Gulf Markets End Mixed as Qatar Market Plummets Following Fed Meeting

Stock markets across the Gulf region displayed a mixed performance on Thursday, with the Qatari index hitting a six-month low following the U.S. Federal Reserve’s dismissal of interest rate hike concerns.

Saudi Arabia’s benchmark stock index experienced a slight uptick of 0.1%, buoyed by gains across various sectors, particularly in IT, utilities, and real estate stocks.

Notable increases were observed in Acwa Power by 1.7% and Middle East Pharmaceutical by 1.8%, while Saudi Basic Industries, or SABIC, saw a decline of 1.6%. This drop followed SABIC’s report of a 62% decrease in first-quarter net profit.

The Qatari benchmark index experienced a notable decline of 1%, hitting its lowest point in six months, with almost all stocks in negative territory.

In Dubai, the benchmark index rebounded after two consecutive sessions of losses, closing 0.2% higher.

This increase was attributed to gains in consumer staples, real estate, finance, and industry sectors. Emaar Properties saw a rise of 2.5%, while Dubai Islamic Bank added 1.1%.

However, Abu Dhabi’s benchmark index saw a slight dip of 0.1%, with pressure from a 1% decrease in First Abu Dhabi Bank and a 0.3% decline in conglomerate Alpha Dhabi Holding.

Meanwhile, Kuwaiti logistic firm Agility’s subsidiary, Agility Global, saw a significant surge, closing at 1.58 dirham a share, marking an increase of over 300% from its trading reference price of 0.37 dirham on its debut.

Qatar Islamic Bank and network provider Ooredoo Qatar both saw declines of 1.6% and 2.4%, respectively.

The decision by the U.S. central bank to maintain unchanged interest rates, as expected, and its indication of no imminent rate hikes influenced market sentiments.

Given that most Gulf currencies are pegged to the dollar, any shifts in U.S. monetary policy typically impact countries like Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Qatar.

In Egypt, the blue-chip index continued its upward trend for a second consecutive session, registering a 3.3% increase, with almost all stocks experiencing gains. Notable performers included Talaat Mostafa, which rose by 7.2%, and E-Finance for Digital, which surged by 10.3%.

Josh Alba
Josh Alba
Josh Alba stands at the forefront of contemporary business journalism, his words weaving narratives that illuminate the intricate workings of the corporate world. With a keen eye for detail and a penchant for uncovering the underlying stories behind financial trends, Josh has established himself as a trusted authority in business writing. Drawing from his wealth of experience and relentless pursuit of truth, Josh delivers insights that resonate with readers across industries.
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