Gulf indices fall on thin trading ahead of Ramadan


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Gulf indices fall on thin trading ahead of Ramadan

On Sunday, the 5th of May 2019, a majority of Middle East bourses took a tumble, mostly hurt by a broad-based profit taking attempt leading to a sharp sell-off and substandard quarterly earnings of some companies. Besides, trading volume had been much thinner on Sunday (May 5th), as a significant portion of the Gulf traders had been absent from their desk while preparing for a Ramadan ahead.

Among all of the Middle East stock exchanges, Saudi bourse had taken the worst-hit, as it had rounded off the day deep in the red, down by 1.7 percent following a steep sell-off of its leading financial and oil stocks, as traders appeared to be securing profit ahead of a month of thin trading due to Ramadan.

On Sunday’s (May 5th) market closure, Saudi’s largest bank in terms of asset, Al Rajhi bank was down by 2.5 percent, while Al-Emma bank had winded down the day 1.7 percent lower. Despite a sharp sell-off of financials on Sunday’s (May 5th) closure, citing a through-and-through optimism over the regional lenders, Dubai-based Arqam Capital wrote in a client note, “We continue to bet on the banking sector through Al Rajhi Bank, National Commercial Bank, SABB Bank and Bank Al Jazira, all of which achieved strong financial results in the first quarter”.

Elsewhere in the Gulf, trading volumes were much-thinner, as it had been witnessed on Saudi stock exchange, while Abu Dhabi index fell by 0.3 percent and the Dubai was down by 0.2 percent at the day’s market closure.

Besides, Qatar, Egypt and Oman bourses, all had wrapped up the in a downbeat note, posted a plunge of 0.2, 2.5 and 0.8 percent respectively. Meanwhile, Kuwait and Bahrain had been the lone Gulf indices to post gains on Sunday’s (May 5th) market, drawing to a closure of the day up by 0.7 and 0.1 percent respectively.