Most Gulf bourses in red on falling oil prices; Egypt stocks jump

Oct 16 (Reuters) – Most stock markets in the Gulf ended lower on Sunday after Friday’s fall in oil prices and on Wall Street, while the Egyptian index outperformed after the IMF said “big policy issues” were resolved with the country.

Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index (<.TASI>) eased 0.1%, hit by a 1.1% fall in oil behemoth Saudi Aramco (<2222.SE>).

Crude prices, a key driver for the Gulf’s financial markets, fell more than 3% on Friday as global recession fears and weak oil demand, especially in China, outweighed support from a large cut to the OPEC+ supply target. read more

China, the world’s largest crude oil importer, has been fighting COVID-19 flare-ups after a week-long holiday. The country’s infection tally is small by global standards, but it has stuck to a zero-COVID policy that is weighing heavily on economic activity and oil demand.

Outside the Gulf, Egypt’s blue-chip index (<.EGX30>) advanced 2%, as most of the stocks on the index were in positive territory including top lender Commercial International Bank Egypt (<COMI.CA>), which was up 3.5%.

International Monetary Fund officials have resolved all major policy issues with Egyptian authorities in their discussions on a new lending programme, IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said on Friday. read more

Egypt has been pushing to tie up a new IMF package during the annual meetings of the IMF and World Bank in Washington this week, hoping to stem a currency crisis that has restricted imports and sparked market unease over foreign debt repayments.

In Qatar, the index (<.QSI>) dropped 0.7%, extending losses from the previous session.

Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; Editing by Hugh Lawson

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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