UAE. The geopolitical tensions coupled with economic uncertainties were both leading last week’s global and regional performances. Global markets ended last week in the red after the dropping of “the mother of all bombs” in Afghanistan.
This is coupled with President Trump’s comments regarding the strength of the US dollar and his preference of the Fed keeping interest rates low. U.S. main equity indices were all down on a weekly basis where Dow, S&P500 and Nasdaq all came down by 0.98%, 1.13% and 1.20% respectively.
European markets also followed the weekly downward move with Stoxx50, FTSE100 and CAC 40 all down by 1.35%, 0.29% and 1.25% respectively. U.S. and European markets were closed Friday for a public holiday. Oil was the only positive performer for the week with Crude Brent and WTI ending the week at USD 55.89 pb and USD 53.18 pb.
On the regional front, most of the indexes followed the global trend with all indexes ending the week in red except for Bahrain which was modestly up by 0.21% and Saudi Arabia which ended the week almost flat. UAE markets were the worst performers for the period, where Abu Dhabi was down by 2.1% and Dubai followed by 1.6%. Egypt also ended the week in the red with 1% down followed by Oman -0.7% and Kuwait -0.3%, while Qatar was down by 0.04%.
According to the latest forecast by the Abu Dhabi-based Arab Monetary Fund (AMF), Arab economies are expected to grow by 2.3% in 2017, as a result of decline in growth rate of the Arab oil-exporting countries to 1.8%. Within this group, the growth rate of the GCC countries are expected to reach 1.7% in 2017 compared to 1.9% in 2016, while the economies of the other Arab oil-exporting countries are expected to grow by 1.1% compared to 1.6% in 2016.
For the coming period, increased cautiousness from investors will be dominating the general sentiments, affecting markets’ directions and will consequently be reflected on trading volumes.
About Al Masah Capital
Al Masah Capital is one of the fastest growing alternative asset management and advisory firms focused on the MENA and SEA regions. Established in 2010 Al Masah Capital provides tailored solutions to a broad investor base, offering private equity advisory (across Healthcare, Education, Food & Beverages, Logistics and other consumer driven sectors), asset management, corporate and real estate advisory as well as public market research services.
With operations in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Singapore, Al Masah advises qualifying investors on growth opportunities in 13 focus markets in MENA and South East Asia.