Major Gulf equities were helped to rise by a partial return of risk appetite to global stock markets and a recovery in oil prices at the end of last week, while they remained sensitive to rate rises and concerns about the demand outlook.
Oil prices, a major factor in the Gulf’s financial markets, increased by roughly 4% on Friday, helped by actual and threatened supply cutbacks. However, futures showed a second weekly decrease due to ad hoc interest rate rises, and China’s COVID-19 limits hampered the forecast for demand. A minor reduction in OPEC+ oil output plans revealed this week also helped to maintain prices.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has threatened to shut off all energy supply to Europe if price caps are implemented. Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index finished 0.9% higher, ending three consecutive days of declines. In Qatar, the benchmark index inched up 1.2%, as almost all its constituent stocks moved into positive territory. The Qatari market could see more gains if energy prices remain at their current levels, said Daniel Takieddine, CEO of MENA BDSwiss.