With renewed fears of the fast-spreading Coronavirus, Omicron, most Gulf stock markets closed on Monday, with a loss, and the Abu Dhabi index fell even further.
The Saudi index, on the other hand, recovered its early losses to finish 0.1 percent higher, helped by a 4.5 percent increase in Banque Saudi Fransi’s share price.
On its first day of trade, Al-Munajm Food Company’s stock rose more than 5%.
The spread of the new strain prompted the Netherlands to close on Sunday, putting pressure on other countries to do the same, even though the US appeared to be set to resume normal operations, according to Reuters.
The Abu Dhabi index dropped 1.1 percent, owing to a 5.3 percent decline in Emirates Telecommunications Group and a 1.5 percent drop in Aldar Properties.
The UAE’s Central Bank announced today, Monday, that it will adopt new rules to regulate banks’ exposure to the real estate sector, which is a critical part of the country’s economy and has been stagnant for years.
Starting December 30, the central bank will give banks a one-year deadline to improve their practices to comply with the new criteria.
The Qatari index dropped 0.3 percent, with the majority of the index’s stocks falling, notably Masraf Al Rayan, which plummeted 0.9 percent.
According to the Qatar News Agency, the country has reported its first four instances of Omicron, according to Reuters.
Similarly, crude oil prices tumbled more than $3 as the rapid spread of Omicron hampered predictions for fuel consumption.
After gains in financial shares compensated for losses in real estate shares, the Dubai index closed unchanged a day after losing more than 3%.
Investors are returning to the market after the previous session’s sharp decline, and the main index may continue to recover as the market remains fundamentally strong, though concerns about the Omicron strain are beginning to affect the outlook, according to Wael Makarem, Exness’ chief market analyst.
The Egyptian blue-chip index lost 0.7 percent outside of the Gulf area, with Commercial International Bank losing 0.7 percent.