Falling oil boosts Gulf markets, signs of Fed slowdown


Nov 24 (Reuters) – Equity markets in the Gulf were mixed on Thursday as oil prices fell, while the less-than-appealing minutes of the previous US Federal Reserve policy meeting fueled speculation of a slower rate hike.

The currencies of most Gulf Cooperation Council countries, including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar, are pegged to the US dollar and generally follow Federal Reserve policy changes, exposing the region to direct effects of monetary tightening in the United States. . exposes.

Saudi Arabia’s Benchmark Index (.TASI) fell 0.2%, dragged by a 1.5% drop in Retail Urban Development Company (4322.SE) and a 4.7% drop in Dr Sulaiman Al-Habib Medical Services (4013.SE).

The index posted its fifth consecutive weekly loss, falling 1.8%.

Separately, Saudi Eyecare Group Maghrabi wants to ramp up its hospital operations next year and has hired banks to finance the deal, Reuters reported Thursday, citing two sources familiar with the matter.

Dubai’s leading stock index (.DFMGI) closed flat.

In Abu Dhabi, the index (.FTFADGI) added 0.1%, aided by a 0.8% increase in First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB.AD), the country’s largest lender.

The Qatari Index (.QSI) was down 0.3%, the Qatar Islamic Bank (QISB.QA) was down 1.1% and the Islamic lender Mashrafe Al Rayyan (MARK.QA) was down 1.5%.

Farah Mourad, Senior Market Analyst at XTB MENA, said the Qatari stock market followed the movement of natural gas prices and if energy prices turn negative, a price correction could occur.

Oil prices – a key catalyst for Gulf financial markets – fell and hovered around two-month lows as the level of a proposed G7 cap on Russian oil prices cast doubt on how much would restrict supply.

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A European official said the G7 group of countries is looking at capping Russian offshore oil at $65-$70 a barrel, though EU governments have yet to agree on a price.

Outside the Gulf, Egypt’s blue-chip index (.EGX30) rose 1.4%.

Reporting by Ateeq Sharif in Bengaluru Edited by Mark Potter

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