GCC stock markets are expected to come under selling pressure in the week ahead amid softening international oil prices and concerns about the faltering US economy, market analysts say.
"The market in Saudi Arabia is down today...With oil prices going down, other major stock markets of the region in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Qatar may see some more downsides," Mousa Haddad, Head Trader with National Bank of Abu Dhabi Asset Management, told Gulf News.
At 1,520, there's a very strong support level for the Dubai market, while for Abu Dhabi the support level is at 2,620. For the Saudi market the support level is around 6,500," Haddad added.
Yesterday, Saudi Arabian shares tumbled the most in almost a month, led by petrochemical companies, after a smaller-than-forecast increase in US payrolls heightened concern that a slower economic recovery will curb oil demand. On Thursday, the Dubai Financial Market (DFM) index closed 0.51 per cent lower at 1,566.34. The same day in Abu Dhabi, the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange general index closed 0.25 per cent higher at 2,672.55.
"The markets remain concerned. The Greek situation is going from bad to worse and the US economy is still consolidating rather than showing any positive momentum. Investors will remain nervous about making too much of a commitment to markets in the current environment. We retain our cautious stance," said Gary Dugan, chief investment officer -Private Banking at Emirates NBD, in a research note.
"For the markets to see progress, they need to see evidence that the US economy is recovering from its recent weakness. Such recovery may still be some months away," Dugan added.
US stocks fell last week, sending the Dow Jones Industrial Average to its longest streak of losses since 2004, after worse-than-estimated reports on jobs and manufacturing fueled concern earnings growth will slow.
All 10 Standard & Poor's 500 Index groups dropped, with declines exceeding 1.3 per cent. The S&P 500 lost 2.3 per cent to 1,300.16, the biggest weekly decline since August.
Its five-week losing streak is the longest since 2008 and puts the index at its lowest level since March. The Dow fell 290.32 points, or 2.3 per cent, to 12,151.26, also posting a fifth-straight weekly slump.
European stocks down
Last week European stocks fell too, extending the fifth week of declines for the benchmark Stoxx Europe 600 Index, after a US jobs report showed that the world's largest economy added fewer workers than forecast.
On Friday, Asian stocks fell for a second day, driving the regional benchmark index to its longest string of weekly losses since the collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., amid signs economic recovery in the US is faltering.