Gulf bourses drop; Egypt extends decline

Gulf bourses drop; Egypt extends decline

Stock markets in the Gulf fell on Sunday, led by the Saudi index, after the US Federal Reserve Chair Powell indicated the latest inflation data did not undermine the central

Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index was down for a second straight session and dropped 1.3%, with almost all sectors in the red.

ACWA Power fell 3.5% and Saudi National Bank, the kingdom’s largest lender, lost 1.5%.

Among other losers, Middle East Pharmaceutical Industries and Al Rajhi Bank, the world’s largest Islamic lender, slid 7.8% and Meanwhile, the index gained 3.6% on a quarterly basis.

The Qatari benchmark index dropped for a fifth straight session and ended 1% lower with almost all sectors in the negative territory.

Qatar Islamic Bank and Qatar International Islamic Bank slipped 3.4% and 1.5% respectively, while Qatar Aluminum Manufacturing dropped 4%.

The index lost 9.1% in the first quarter of 2024 after posting gains in the previous two quarters, according to LSEG data.

The latest US inflation data is “along the lines of what we would like to see,” Fed Chair Jerome Powell said on Friday in comments that appeared to keep the central bank’s baseline for interest rate cuts this year intact.

Most Gulf currencies are pegged to the dollar, and any US monetary policy changes are usually followed by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar.

Outside the Gulf, Egypt’s blue-chip index extended its losses to a fourth straight session and lost 2.5% to 26,883, lowest levels in more than two months.

E-Finance and Eastern Co slumped 6.6% and 6.1% respectively, while Commercial International Bank dropped 3.8%.

The Egypt index has advanced 8% in the January-March quarter, extending gains for seven straight quarters in a row.

SAUDI ARABIA dropped 1.3% to 12,402

KUWAIT lost 0.6% to 8,037

QATAR fell 1% to 9,847

EGYPT was down 2.5% at 26,883

BAHRAIN lost 0.7% to 2,043

OMAN fell 0.8% to 4,636