Gulf markets subdued as investors cautious about U.S.-China trade talks

Gulf markets were largely flat on Thursday as a media report lowered expectations for a breakthrough in talks between the United States and China aimed at resolving a trade dispute.

Oil prices edged lower as the ongoing trade war between the world’s two largest oil consumers weighed on the global economy and fuel demand.

The United States and China made no progress in deputy-level trade talks held during Monday and Tuesday in Washington, the South China Morning Post reported, citing unnamed sources with knowledge of the meetings.

Saudi Arabia’s index was flat in early trade with Riyad Bank slipping 0.7 percent and Al Rajhi Bank gaining 0.3 percent.

Jarir Marketing inched up 0.6 percent after the retailer reported a 5.9 percent increase in third-quarter profit.

Saudi Paper Manufacturing also rose 3.3 percent after its third-quarter loss narrowed. In Abu Dhabi, the index also traded flat with First Abu Dhabi Bank gaining 1 percent and Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank dropping 0.7 percent.

Qatar’s index was flat. Qatar National Bank gained 0.2%, snapping a five-session losing streak as the Gulf’s largest lender reported a 4 percent increase in nine-month net profit, broadly in line with analyst estimates.

Dubai’s index inched down 0.3 percent with Dubai Islamic Bank and Emirates NBD both falling 0.4 percent.

Source: Reuters