By Md Manzer Hussain
(Reuters) – Gulf stock markets put in a mixed performance on Sunday as higher oil prices were offset by worries of faltering demand from China, the world’s top crude importer.
Oil prices – a major driver of Gulf financial markets – rose about 2% on Friday as Iraq voiced support for OPEC+ oil cuts ahead of a meeting of the group on Nov. 26. futures settled at $81.43 a barrel. [O/R]
The Qatari index snapped a three-session losing streak on Sunday with a 0.3% gain. Masraf Al Rayan and Qatar Fuel each rose 1.4%.
Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index extended losses to a fourth consecutive session, easing 0.1%, with Fawaz Abdulaziz Alhokair Co falling 9.9% in its steepest drop in more than 13 months.
The retailer reported a third-quarter net loss of 202.9 million riyals ($54.1 million) compared to a net profit of 21.1 million riyals a year earlier.
Saudi Telecom fell 1.3% and Maharah for Human Resources was down 8.6%.
Data from China on Thursday showed policymakers struggling to control disinflation, casting doubt over the chances of a broad-based economic recovery in the world’s biggest commodity consumer.
Outside the Gulf, Egypt’s blue-chip index fell 1.7%, with Commercial International Bank down 2.5% and Misr Fertilizer losing 4.6%.
However, Credit Agricole (OTC:) Egypt gained 3.7% as the lender reported a 121% jump in third quarter consolidated net profit.
SAUDI ARABIA dropped 0.1% to 10,834
QATAR gained 0.3% to 10,007
EGYPT fell 1.6% to 23,911
BAHRAIN fell 0.1% to 1,930
OMAN added 0.5% to 4,560
KUWAIT rose 0.3% to 7,252
($1 = 3.7508 riyals)