Qatar bourse flat, Gulf weak as oil, global markets retreat

Big 5

Qatar’s main stock index moved little in early trade Wednesday but other bourses in the Gulf edged lower as oil prices and global equities retreated.

Doha’s index was flat after it rose 2.2 percent on Tuesday on expectations of fund inflows when index compiler FTSE promotes it to emerging market status next month. Qatar Insurance gained a further 3.9 percent after rising 3.5 percent on the previous day on hopes it will be included in FTSE’s emerging market index.

Qatar National Bank, which had surged 6.7 percent on Tuesday, pulled back 0.3 percent to 168.00 riyals. Shares in the most valuable lender in the Gulf by market value are now at a 5.9 percent premium to the mean fair value of 10 analysts polled by Reuters.

Dubai’s index was down 0.5 percent at 3,571 points, retreating from technical resistance at its April peak of 3,605 points. Dubai Financial Market, the only listed Gulf exchange, lost 1.4 percent.

In Saudi Arabia, the index edged down 0.2 percent after 40 minutes of trade as banking shares weighed. The banking sector has recently underperformed as investors have grown weary of its exposure to the debt of struggling local construction companies. National Commercial Bank, a key lender to builders, was down 0.5 percent.

The petrochemical sector, which has been relatively resilient since Brent oil climbed back above $45 a barrel at the end of last week, was supported by a 0.3 percent gain in heavyweight Saudi Basic Industries.

Source: Reuters