Dubai: Most of the major stock markets in the Gulf declined in early trading today, tracking the decline in Asian stocks and oil prices, with the Abu Dhabi index heading down for the third session.
Brent crude futures, a major catalyst for Gulf financial markets, fell $1.21, or 1.3 percent, to $93.89 a barrel by 06:35 GMT, as bleak economic data from China, the biggest buyer of crude, renewed fears of a global recession.
Yesterday, the Chinese central bank cut interest rates on lending to revive demand, as data showed that the economy unexpectedly slowed in July as the activity of factories and retail companies shrank due to Beijing’s policy to make the country free of Covid-19 and a real estate crisis.
The Dubai index fell 0.3 percent, affected by a decline in the Emirates NBD Bank, the emirate’s largest bank, by 1.1 percent and Dubai Islamic Bank by 0.3 percent. However, Emaar Properties rose 0.5%. The Abu Dhabi index fell 0.2 percent after the first Abu Dhabi Bank, the largest bank in the United Arab Emirates, lost 0.6 percent. The Qatari index fell 0.4 percent, led by a decline of 1 percent for Qatar National Bank, the largest Gulf bank, and 0.7 percent for Qatar Islamic Bank. The Saudi index rose 0.2 percent, led by a 4.7 percent rise in the shares of the Saudi Arabian Mining Company (Maaden). But the Saudi index’s gains were limited by a 0.7 percent drop in oil giant Saudi Aramco.