Most Gulf markets in the red on falling oil prices

By Ateeq Shariff

(Reuters) – Stock markets in the Gulf ended lower on Sunday in response to Friday’s fall in oil prices, although the Saudi index bucked the trend to trade higher.

Oil – a catalyst for the Gulf’s financial markets – fell on Friday as the release of some hostages in Gaza reduced the geopolitical risk premium.

In Qatar, the index dropped 0.7%, weighed down by a 1.5% fall in Qatar Islamic Bank and a 1.5% decrease in petrochemical maker Industries Qatar.

Outside the Gulf, Egypt’s blue-chip index declined 0.8%, with top lender Commercial International Bank losing 2%.

Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index edged 0.1% higher, ending two sessions of losses, helped by a 1.2% rise in Elm Company.

OPEC+ has moved closer to a compromise with African oil producers on 2024 output levels, four OPEC+ sources told Reuters, after disagreements over those targets forced the group of oil-producing nations to postpone a key meeting.

The market is also waiting to see if Saudi Arabia extends its additional 1 million barrel per day (bpd) voluntary production cut, which is due to expire at the end of December.

SAUDI ARABIA rose 0.1% to 11,090

QATAR dropped 0.7% to 10,137

EGYPT lost 0.8% to 25,300

BAHRAIN eased 0.1% to 1,951

OMAN rose 0.2% to 4,628

KUWAIT was up 0.1% to 7,320

(Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru, Editing by Louise Heavens)