Most Gulf bourses falter amid Omicron-led lockdown fears



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Most Gulf bourses falter amid Omicron-led lockdown fears

On Sunday, a basket of Gulf bourses had winded down the session in red inks with Dubai leading the day’s downward spiral, as a sharp uptick in Omicron cases across the globe coupled with growing likelihoods of another Christmas in lockdown in Europe and in the US had spooked investors.

In point of fact, in the day’s sharp downfall in most Mid-east stock indices was almost entirely galvanized by growing investors’ worries about the fiscal fallouts of Omicron, even as physicians and scientists across the globe had assuaged that the variant had shown ‘very mild’ symptoms in comparison to delta or alpha variants, while a sweeping plunge in crude oil futures’ prices on Friday, a key catalyst on Gulf investors’ morale, had added to further holocaust.

Brent crude contracts’ prices tumbled nearly 2.6 per cent, while US West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures’ prices had wrapped up the week 1.3 per cent lower. Aside from that, impacts of ‘a tidal wave of Omicron infections’ as cited by the UK PM Boris Johnson, over Central Banks’ stance across the globe had added to strains on leading Mid-east lenders.

Nonetheless, despite soothing remarks from health authorities, possibilities of lockdown in a holiday shopping season which is expected to yield a record sale, had rattled investors all over the world and marred global equity markets on Friday, while Sunday’s Gulf bourses appeared to have largely echoed an identical tone.

Gulf bourses end lower as Omicron lockdown fears rise

Citing statistics, in the day’s Gulf market closing bell, Saudi’s benchmark index faltered 1.3 per cent with petrochemical maker SABIC tumbling as much as 2.6 per cent.

Dubai’s main index skidded 3.6 per cent following a 4.2 per cent decline in the Emirati state’s largest lender Emirates NBD Bank, while blue-chip developer Emaar Properties lost 4.0 per cent. Besides, Abu Dhabi shed over 2 per cent with the UAE’s largest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank declining as much as 3.1 per cent.

Outside the Gulf, Egypt’s blue-chip index shrugged off 0.9 per cent with a majority of its 29 blue-chip stocks wrapping up the session in a negative territory. Elsewhere in the Gulf, Oman added 0.3 per cent and Kuwait retreated 0.6 per cent, while capital markets in Qatar and Bahrain were closed due to a public holiday.