US stocks saw the sharpest weekly fall since mid-2012 last week and stock indices in the Gulf Arab countries performed overall lower Sunday, whereas two listed market heavyweights in Riyadh and Doha reported mixed quarterly results.
In Riyadh, the Gulf Arab region's largest bourse Tadawul fell for the second day straight closing 0.31 percent lower at 6,661.99 points, representing a four-month low. Al Rajhi Bank, the world's largest Islamic financial institution, ended 1.10 percent lower at 68.25 Saudi riyal (18.42 U.S. dollars).
Earlier in the day, Al Rajhi Bank said that its net profit during the third quarter reached 1.9 billion Saudi riyal (510 million dollars), down 3.5 percent year-on-year.
Al Rajhi Bank said in an e-mailed statement "The reason for, the decrease of the net profit during the third quarter compared to previous quarter of the current year and compared to the third quarter of last year is the increase of the total operating expenses."
The Qatar Exchange regained 0.10 percent, after the bourse ended flat for three days in a row last week. Industries Qatar, the share with the highest market capitalization in Doha, advanced 1.12 percent to close at 144.10 Qatari riyal (37.5 dollars). Earlier in the day, Industries Qatar said its interim financial statements revealed a net profit of 6.6 billion Qatari riyal (1.72 billion dollars) for the nine-month period, up 6.5 percent year-on- year.
Elsewhere in the region, the Dubai market index DFMGI declined 0.66 percent, while Abu Dhabi's ADXGI fell half a percentage point. Both gauges suffered from losses in the real estate sector. Selling pressure on oil prices, which fell 6.5 percent in the last four weeks amid new worries over the world economy expressed by the International Monetary Fund, also weighed on the sentiment in the Gulf.
However, the Kuwait Stock Exchange Market Index bucked the trend by adding a quarter percentage point to close at 5,982.79. Trading turnover declined at all exchanges in the region as the Islamic world will observe the feast of sacrifice at the end of the month, and most investors prefer to stay on the sidelines.
Despite the recent weakness at Gulf Arab markets, asset management firm SEI Funds in New York is convinced that bourses in the emerging markets will outperform developed countries in the next 12 months.
"We are thinking that EM will be a 2013 story. It's partially a matter of gaining enough confidence that the slowdown in China is coming to an end," SEI said in a global market analysis published earlier in the day.