Oman Shares Lead Decline in Gulf on Economic Growth Concern; Qatar Gains
Oman’s stock index led a decline in Gulf shares after European markets retreated last week as U.S. economic reports heightened investor concern the global recovery may be faltering. Qatar’s benchmark rose for a fifth day.
Al Anwar Holdings SAOG, the Omani investor in manufacturing companies, fell for a second day and Al-Hassan Engineering Co. lost the most in almost six weeks. Oman’s MSM30 Index dropped for the first time in four days, slipping 0.3 percent at the 1 p.m. close. Qatar’s QE Index increased 0.9 percent 7,179, the highest level since May 18. The Bloomberg GCC 200 Index gained 0.2 percent.
The shares “reacted to the closing prices of U.S. equities on Friday and oil prices,” said Mohamed Abu Ghoush, head of equity brokerage at Al-Ahli Bank in Doha. Gains in Qatar are being led by the index’s main components after they reported second-quarter earnings that were “above expectations,” he said.
European and U.S. stocks declined last week, as reports showed U.S. jobless claims climbed to the highest since November and Japan’s economy grew at the slowest pace in three quarters. The benchmark Stoxx Europe 600 Index fell 1.3 percent in the week while the Standard and Poor’s Index declined 0.7 percent.
Crude oil dropped to a six-week low, settling at $73.46 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange on Aug. 20. The six nations of the Gulf Cooperation Council supply about a fifth of the world’s oil.
Dubai’s DFM General Index was little changed at 1,491.67 on volume that was about 75 percent below average. The Islamic holy month of Ramadan, when Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset and business activity slows, began earlier this month. About 39 million shares traded in Dubai today, compared with a six-month daily average of 160 million.
“Volatility over the weekend in international markets was high causing uncertainty for local investors who seemed to prefer waiting for direction from international markets for the new week,” said Marwan Shurrab, assistant fund manager and chief trader at Gulfmena Alternative Investments in Dubai.
Al Anwar slid 1.9 percent to 0.156 rial, the lowest since June 7. Al-Hassan dropped 1.4 percent to 0.48 rial, the lowest since July 13.
Qatar National Bank SAQ, the Persian Gulf nation’s biggest lender by assets, rose 1.4 percent to 140.6 riyals. The shares have gained 4 percent since July 27 when the bank posted a 36 percent increase in second-quarter profit, beating analysts’ forecasts. Industries Qatar, the state-controlled petrochemical and steelmaker, advanced 1.3 percent to 102 riyals. The company on Aug. 5 said net income rose 14 percent to 1.39 billion riyals, better than analysts had estimated.
Bahrain’s gauge, Abu Dhabi’s ADX General Index Kuwait’s benchmark and Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul All Share Index were little changed. In North Africa, Egypt’s EGX30 Index slipped 0.1 percent. The TA-25 Index in Tel Aviv was little changed.
Israel’s 10-year Mimshal Shiklit due January 2020 rose 0.14 shekel to 107.73, driving the yield one basis point lower to 4.35 percent.