The Saudi stock market ends two sessions of decline and returns to record gains
The Saudi market ended trading today, Sunday, with an increase, ending losses that lasted for two sessions, while the Egyptian market continued to decline due to high inflation.
The main index in Saudi Arabia rose 0.6%, supported by a 1.7% rise in the share of Retal Urban Development, and the Saudi market can continue gains this week amid improved sentiment among local investors.
Ahmed Negm, head of market research for the Middle East and North Africa at XS.com, said the main index managed to surpass this year’s peak, which was a strong incentive for investors to buy.
“At the same time, the local economy may receive support from the possibility of higher oil prices in the short and medium term,” he added, according to Reuters.
Oil prices, a major catalyst for financial markets in the Gulf, witnessed little change on Thursday, but recorded gains for the third week, with markets assessing the OPEC+ alliance’s decision to cut oil production and the decline in US oil stocks against concerns about the global economic outlook.
The Qatar Stock Exchange index fell 0.9%, with most of the stocks on the index retreating to the red zone, including the Qatar Petrochemical Industries share, which fell 1%.
In an update it issued on Thursday, the World Bank lowered its forecast for economic growth for the six countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council in 2023 to 3.2%, compared to forecasts of 3.7% growth it issued last October.
It is also expected that the GCC countries will record a fiscal surplus of 3.2% of GDP in 2023, down from 4.3% in 2022.
The leading index in the Egyptian Stock Exchange declined 0.2%, and Negm expected that the Egyptian Stock Exchange might record more losses as the country continues to be exposed to financial and inflationary pressures. At the same time, international investors may maintain the selling trend in light of the decline in risk appetite.
A Reuters poll on Thursday showed that the inflation rate in Egyptian cities could reach an all-time high in March, in light of the continued shortage of foreign currency after devaluations of the pound for more than a year.
In Bahrain, there was little change in the index to close at 1886 points, and in the Sultanate of Oman the index increased 0.2% to 4765 points, and in Kuwait the index fell 1.1% to 7642 points.