GCC markets delivered a mixed performance, according to a new analysis by investor relations consulting firm Iridium Advisors.
Leading the pack, Saudi Arabia (+4.7%) surged on the back of widespread sector growth, fueled by anticipation of a slower pace in future US interest rate hikes.
Qatar (+1.0%) also experienced all-encompassing gains. Kuwait (+0.1%) and Bahrain (+0.1%) posted matching modest gains, while Dubai (+0.0%) remained flat due to losses in select ex-dividend stocks being counterbalanced by advances in Emaar Properties. Oman (-0.3%) saw its three-week winning streak come to an end, and Abu Dhabi (-1.5%) continued its decline for the second consecutive week, pressured by underperformance in financial, industrial, and utility sectors. The Nasdaq Composite (+1.7%) and S&P 500 (+1.4%) notched gains for the second week in a row, while the Dow Jones (+1.2%) rebounded from the previous week’s loss. This uptick in the markets was attributed to easing concerns surrounding global financial market turbulence, following intervention efforts in the US and Europe to assist struggling banks. European markets also bounced back after two weeks of losses. Both the DAX (+1.3%) and CAC40 (+1.3%) recorded comparable gains, trailed by the FTSE100 (+1.0%) and STOXX600 (+0.9%).
The week ahead
As Q1 2023 comes to a close, market activity in the region is anticipated to slow down due to the commencement of the holy month of Ramadan, Iridium observed. In the wake of the US Federal Reserve’s latest interest rate announcement, investors are expected to keep a keen eye on global financial market trends, particularly in the US and Europe. Regarding corporate news, the financial markets gear up for the final round of FY 2022 earnings reports, with companies such as Al Saffa Foods, Construction Materials Industries, Kuwait Projects Company, and SPIMACO slated to conduct earnings calls. Furthermore, several firms, including Americana, Empower, Jazeera Airways, Al Ramz, United Foods, BASREC, BMMI, and Mekdam Holdings, plan to hold annual general meetings. These events will cover a variety of subjects, notably dividend distribution strategies.
The analysis further highlighted investors in the US are gearing up for the release of consumer spending data following the Federal Reserve’s recent quarter-point interest rate hike. This crucial economic indicator will provide insights into the nation’s overall spending behavior. In the EU, investors will be paying attention to a trio of economic indicators: consumer confidence, CPI, and unemployment figures.
Moreover, a highly anticipated speech by ECB policymaker Isabel Schnabel at the Chicago Booth conference on the global economy is expected to draw attention. Over in the UK, the fourth quarter GDP announcement is highly anticipated, with expectations suggesting the nation may narrowly sidestep a technical recession.
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