Most stock markets in the Gulf fell in early trading Thursday on the back of lower oil prices, although the Saudi index bucked the trend to the upside.
Oil prices – a major catalyst for financial markets in the Gulf – fell as traders cautiously awaited signs of progress in talks to raise the US debt ceiling, after jumping about 3% in the previous session on optimism about US fuel demand.
Dubai’s main stock index fell 0.3 percent, Emaar Properties lost 0.8 percent, and Salik cost company fell 1 percent.
In Abu Dhabi, the index fell 0.3 percent.
The benchmark Qatari index fell 0.3 percent, a day after rising 2 percent, following media reports that the Gulf state plans to boost its stock market to attract foreigners.
And the main index of Saudi Arabia increased 0.4 percent, with the share of the National Bank of Saudi Arabia, the largest bank in the Kingdom, rising 1.8 percent, and the share of the oil giant Saudi Aramco increased 0.3 percent.
Separately, the Kingdom’s First Mills Company said it intends to proceed with an initial public offering (IPO) and list its ordinary shares on the Saudi stock exchange.
It added that First Mills intends to announce the price range on May 18 and set the final price for its shares on May 31.
President Joe Biden and US Republican Congressman Kevin McCarthy stressed on Wednesday their determination to reach an agreement soon to raise the federal government’s debt ceiling of $31.4 trillion and avert a catastrophic economic downturn.