London Stock Exchange – Most major Gulf stock markets fall in early trade
Brent crude futures for April, which expired on Friday, fell 1.1% to settle at $66.13 a barrel as forecasts called for crude supply to rise in response to prices climbing above pre-pandemic levels.
Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index lost 0.6%, with Al Rajhi Bank down 1.2% and Saudi Telecom Company losing 1.5%.
The kingdom’s de facto ruler approved an operation to capture or kill murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018, according to U.S. intelligence released on Friday as the United States imposed sanctions on some of those involved but spared the crown prince himself in an effort to preserve relations with the kingdom.
Khashoggi, 59, was a Saudi journalist living in self-imposed exile in Virginia.
“I don’t think investors considered it a big risk that the U.S. would torpedo U.S. Saudi relations by targeting Mohammed Bin Salman. It would have ruptured relations. This to me is a non-event. Political risk is high in Saudi Arabia and so are valuations. Not great value,” said Khaled Abdel Majeed at London-based investment advisory firm SAM Capital Partners.
Dubai’s main share index fell 0.7%, weighed down by a 2.3% drop in Emaar Properties and a 2.2% retreat for Emirates Integrated Telecommunications.
In Abu Dhabi, the index eased 0.3%, with the country’s largest lender, First Abu Dhabi Bank, losing 0.5% and sharia-compliant lender Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank down 1.8%.
The Qatari index, however, edged up 0.1%, helped by a 2% rise in utility company Qatar Electricity and Water Co .