Oil nears $50, dents sentiment in Gulf
* Dubai’s index fell 1.0 per cent
* Abu Dhabi’s index, which was the top performer on Tuesday, retreated 1.1 per cent
* In Qatar, the index fell 0.8 per cent as some of the previous day’s chief gainers retreated
Stock markets in the Gulf followed international bourses lower in early trade on Wednesday as crude oil prices trading down near $50 a barrel dented sentiment towards oil-sensitive shares.
All but two of the 12 listed Saudi Arabian petrochemical makers fell, dragging the main Saudi index 0.7 per cent lower after 35 minutes. Heavyweight Saudi Basic Industries lost 1.0 per cent.
Supermarket operator Al Othaim declined 1.0 per cent after its board recommended a cash dividend of 2.0 riyals per share for 2016; although the payout was above the prior year’s outlay, it fell below expectations. Analysts at NCB Capital had forecast the retailer would pay 2.3 riyals.
Construction company Jabal Omar, however, rose 1.9 per cent after the company said it had signed an agreement to sell three hotels and a mall to a real estate fund for six billion riyals ($1.6 billion). The company will then lease and operate the assets, using the proceeds to reduce outstanding loans and finance other projects.
Around the GCC
Dubai’s index fell 1.0 per cent. Builder Arabtec lost 1.5 per cent and peer Drake & Scull was down 1.1 per cent.
Abu Dhabi’s index, which was the top performer on Tuesday, retreated 1.1 per cent, hit by profit-taking in blue chips Aldar Properties, which lost 1.7 per cent, and Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, down 2.2 per cent.
In Qatar, the index fell 0.8 per cent as some of the previous day’s chief gainers retreated. Islamic lender Masraf Al Rayan fell 0.7 per cent and Barwa Real Estate lost 1.0 per cent.