Amman - Arab stock markets lost further ground this week as speculation dominated trading, and investors - obsessed with world recession fears - looked for fresh incentives, financial analysts said Friday.
They expected regional bourses to remain fragile in the coming weeks pending the adoption of the new stimulus package by the US administration of President Barack Obama and further news about the 2008 performance of listed firms.
"I believe speculation and the search for new moving elements will dominate regional markets in the coming weeks as concerns of the global recession continue to ride roughshod on investors' minds," Wajdi Makhamreh, Chief Operating Officer at the Amman-based Sanabel International Holding, told Deutsche Presse-Agentur.
"I think negative factors will continue to have the upper hand with investors preferring short-term deals rather than long-term investments," he said.
Makhamreh also expected the movement of oil prices to have a direct impact on regional stock markets through their effect on the volume of liquidity and surplus petrodollars seeking investment outlets.
Saudi shares fluctuated within a narrow range this week as investors searched for news about the direction of the world economy and crude prices, the Riyadh-based Bakheet Investment Group (BIG) said in its weekly report.
The Tadawul All Share Index (TASI) of the Arab world's largest stock exchange closed at 4,794.56 points, almost unchanged from last week's close.
"Investors are still monitoring the reactions of international markets to economic news and their effect on oil prices which are expected to reflect on the Saudi bourse," the report said.
Jordanian stocks lost fresh ground this week amid reports of lower-than-expected results of listed firms and shrinking liquidity due to credit squeeze by banks, Makhamreh said.
The all-share price index of the Amman Stock Exchange shed 1.76 per cent this week, closing at 2,656 points from 2,704 points last week, according to the ASE weekly report.
Kuwaiti shares closed up this week, buoyed by a rescue plan that was adopted by the cabinet and passed to the National Assembly for approval next week, according to the weekly report of the Gulf Invest Company.
The report also attributed the rebound partly to the 2008 profits of blue chip firms and proposed dividends.
Kuwait's KSE all-share price index gained 2.25 per cent this week, to close on Thursday at 6,916.60 points.
The performance of the United Arab Emirates stock markets was mixed this week. The all-share price index of the Dubai exchange fell 1.71 per cent on Thursday to close week at 1,433 points, while the Abu Dhabi stock exchange's benchmark closed up, rising 1.74 per cent at 2,174 points. (dpa)
- Decision on gas price revision taken under RIL’s coercion: Dasgupta
- Government to pay $8.1 billion fuel subsidy in fourth quarter
- Oil firms falls as government considers export parity pricing model
- Essar Oil to sign $1 billion financing co-operation deal with CDB
- ONGC may sell stakes in deep-water blocks to Shell