GCC stock markets fall amid oil price volatility, US interest rate speculation

(MENAFN) On Wednesday, Gulf stock markets closed lower as investors anticipated the upcoming quarterly earnings season amidst fluctuating oil prices and speculations of an imminent U.S. interest rate cut. Despite improved sentiment surrounding potential rate cuts, oil prices faced volatility, impacting market dynamics across the region.

Saudi Arabia's index saw little change, closing flat after four consecutive sessions of gains. Shares of Saudi Aramco, the kingdom's oil giant, dipped by 0.2 percent amid ongoing market stability. Joseph Dahrieh, Managing Director at TechMill, noted the market's cautious stance, citing uncertainty and a narrow trading range.

Reports indicated that Aramco initiated a bond sale in three phases, aiming to raise at least USD3 billion. In Dubai, the index edged up by 0.1 percent, bolstered by a 1.3 percent increase in Emirates Central Cooling Systems Corporation. Meanwhile, the Abu Dhabi index closed steady.

Crude oil prices, pivotal for Gulf markets, showed stability following OPEC's decision to maintain its oil demand growth forecast for the current and upcoming years. This stability contrasted with earlier declines, with Brent crude futures slipping 11 cents to USD84.55 per barrel after a 1.3 percent drop in the previous session. In addition to oil price movements, U.S. inventory data indicated potential declines in crude and gasoline stocks from the previous week, further influencing market sentiment.

Beyond the Gulf, Egypt's blue-chip index declined by 0.6 percent, influenced by a 1 percent drop in Talaat Moustafa Holding. These developments underscored the interconnectedness of global economic factors impacting regional markets, highlighting ongoing investor caution amidst evolving economic indicators and geopolitical dynamics. 



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