Gulf stocks mostly fall amid US rate concerns

Gulf stock markets went mostly down in early trade on Wednesday, as investors assessed the possibility of the US Federal Reserve delaying interest rate cuts, while the Saudi index saw an increase, Reuters reported.

Recent strong US economic data has raised doubts about the Fed’s ability to implement the three rate cuts projected in its latest forecast.

The currencies of most Gulf countries are pegged to the dollar, so any changes in US monetary policy are typically mirrored by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Qatar.

In Dubai, the benchmark stock index dropped by 0.2 per cent, driven by a 0.5 per cent decline in Emaar Properties and a 4.2 per cent fall in Commercial Bank of Dubai.

The Qatari benchmark index fell by 0.2 per cent, with Commercial Bank slipping three per cent and Qatar National Bank shedding 0.4 per cent.

Abu Dhabi’s benchmark stock index remained relatively unchanged, with Aldar Properties falling by 0.7 per cent and Alpha Dhabi Holding losing 0.3 per cent. However, Presight rose by 6.2 per cent and ADNOC Drilling gained 0.8 per cent.

Saudi Arabia’s benchmark stock index rose by 0.6 per cent, driven by gains across various sectors, including Rajhi Bank and Saudi National Bank, which climbed by 0.9 per cent and 1.1 per cent respectively.

Other gainers included Middle East Pharmaceutical and Saudi Telecom, which added 2.9 per cent and one per cent respectively.

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