GCC stock markets fall amid Fed rate uncertainty

(MENAFN) On Wednesday, most stock markets across the Gulf region witnessed declines, with notable decreases seen in the Qatari index, signaling growing uncertainty surrounding potential actions by the US Federal Reserve regarding interest rates. The downturn in Gulf markets followed an unexpected improvement in consumer confidence, raising concerns about the Fed's stance on interest rate adjustments.

While the Saudi market index showed signs of resilience, rebounding by approximately 0.3 percent after experiencing losses for four consecutive sessions, notable gains were observed in shares of National Saudi Bank, which surged by 5.8 percent, and Riyad Bank, which rose by 3.5 percent. However, the Qatari index experienced a significant decline of one percent, reaching its lowest level in about four years at 9,279 points, with nearly all sectors registering losses. Qatar Islamic Bank shares fell by 1.9 percent, while Industries Qatar shares declined by 1.4 percent.

Similarly, Abu Dhabi's benchmark index witnessed a 0.4 percent decrease to 8,711 points, while Dubai's main index fell by 0.7 percent. The uptick in US Treasury bond yields on Tuesday, attributed to lackluster debt deals and stronger-than-expected economic data, contributed to market uncertainties regarding the potential for US interest rate adjustments in the near future.

Beyond the Gulf region, Egypt's leading stock index continued its downward trend for the third consecutive session, experiencing a decline of approximately 0.4 percent. This decline was influenced by the drop in shares of EFinance by 3.2 percent and EFG Holding by 2.2 percent.

The mixed performance of stock markets in the Gulf and beyond underscores the delicate balance between market sentiment, economic data, and monetary policy expectations. As investors navigate through uncertainties surrounding interest rates and economic indicators, market volatility is likely to persist in the near term, shaping investment decisions across various sectors and regions.



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