© Reuters. A screen displays shares on the Saudi Stock Exchange in Riyadh, in a photo from the Reuters archive.
(Reuters) – Most of the major stock indices in the Gulf states made a good start to the year 2023 on Monday, and the index led the gains of the region’s stock exchanges, as investors brushed aside fears of a possible recession, increased demand for oil, and the US Federal Reserve’s adoption of more interest rate hikes.
The International Monetary Fund warned on Sunday that 2023 will be a harsher year for the global economy, as the main growth locomotives, the United States, Europe and China, witness a slowdown in activity.
Fund manager Kristalina Georgieva told CBS on Sunday morning that the new year would be “more difficult than the year before”.
Crude prices, which are usually influenced by financial markets in the Gulf, were very volatile in 2022 and are expected to remain under pressure in 2023.
On Friday, a Reuters poll showed that 30 economists and analysts expect Brent crude to average $89.37 a barrel in 2023, about 4.6 percent less than the $93.65 forecast in a November poll. The average global benchmark crude was $99 a barrel in 2022.
The successive increases in interest rates by the Federal Reserve, which is inclined to tighten monetary policy at the present time, poses another challenge to the Gulf economy, as most of the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council link their currencies to the US dollar and generally follow the movements of the Federal Reserve policy, which makes them vulnerable to the direct effects of any monetary tightening on the part of the bank. American Central.
Wael Makarem, senior analyst for the Middle East and North Africa region at Exness, said that the region’s markets started 2023 with some fluctuations, as uncertainty remains a strong factor, but energy prices may push the markets if the war continues in Ukraine and China begins to open its economy after the removal of restrictions linked to Covid-19. 19.
Today, it rose 0.4 percent, supported by the rise of the shares of First Abu Dhabi Bank, the largest bank in the Emirates, by 0.6 percent.
The Abu Dhabi index was the best performer in 2022 among the GCC indices, ending the year with a gain of more than 20% after hitting an all-time high in early November.
The Qatari index rose 1.4 percent, with the support of Qatar Islamic Bank advancing 4 percent and Qatar National Bank rising 1.6 percent. Qatar is one of the world’s largest exporters of liquefied petroleum products.
And it rose 0.3 percent, as the share of the Retal Urban Development Company rose 0.8 percent, and the share of Al-Rajhi Bank (TADAWUL:) rose 0.9 percent.
The share of Etihad Atheeb Telecom Company (TADAWUL:) also jumped by more than nine percent after it signed a contract worth 77 million riyals ($20.49 million) with the emirate of Najran region on Sunday.
It fell 0.2 percent, affected by a 1.3 percent decline in the share of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority and a 1.4 percent drop in the share of Tabreed Company (DFM): the areas affiliated to the Central Ventilation Systems Company in the Emirates (Empower).
Outside the Gulf region, the leading stock index in Egypt closed up 2.5 percent, as the share of the Commercial International Bank (EGX:) advanced 3.1 percent, and the share of Abu Qir Fertilizers and Chemical Industries Company increased by 5.2 percent.
Egypt was the best performer in 2022 on the index of resilience among the economies of the Middle East region, as it recorded an increase of more than 22 percent despite facing economic obstacles due to the war in Ukraine.
The Egyptian Stock Exchange reversed its previous losses to achieve gains in the fourth quarter after a deal with the International Monetary Fund and central bank support to allow banks greater flexibility in currency trading.
Saudi Arabia: The index rose 0.3 percent to 10,578 points.
Abu Dhabi: The index rose 0.4 percent to 10,253 points.
Dubai: The index fell 0.2 percent to 3,331 points.
Qatar: The index rose 1.4 percent to 10,834 points.
Egypt: The index rose 2.5 percent to 14,961 points.
Bahrain: The index fell 0.4 percent to 1888 points.
Oman: The index fell 0.6 percent to 4,842 points.
Kuwait: The index fell 2.1 percent to 7,945 points.
(= 3.7585 riyals)
(Prepared by Muhammad Aysem for the Arabic Bulletin – Edited by Mahmoud Salama)