Gulf markets may soften after oil snap-back

 03 Apr 2016 - 8:45

Gulf markets may soften after oil snap-back
File picture of a stock exchange. Reuters 


DUBAI: Stock markets in the Gulf may kick off the second quarter on a weak footing on Sunday after oil prices tumbled about 4 percent at the end of last week.

Saudi Arabia will agree to freeze crude oil production levels only if Iran and other major producers do so, the kingdom's deputy crown prince said in an interview with Bloomberg. Brent
crude settled at $38.67 a barrel on Friday; it fell 3 percent for the week but finished the first quarter up 6 percent.

This may encourage profit-taking in the Riyadh stock market, which will start trading at 10 am local time (0700 GMT) from Sunday, an hour earlier than previously, as part of efforts to
develop the market and link trading with other regional bourses.

Markets in the United Arab Emirates, which have proved more resilient to fluctuations in oil prices, may perform somewhat better.

Dubai's index bounced further from technical support on its mid-March low of 3,253 points on Thursday, rising to 3,356 points; it faces technical resistance on the March peaks of 3,397-3,421 points.

"Once traders are convinced that prices have peaked in the so-called speculative stocks, we will see volumes divert back to the big-cap stocks," said a Dubai-based trader.