The region's stock markets are likely to come under selling pressure in the week ahead on negative investor sentiments globally as economic indicators show growth across Europe and the US is slowing down, say analysts.
"I think the regional markets will be affected by the international market movements of last week. European debt is causing panic for investors across the world and investors in the region are going to be affected negatively," Tarek Qaqish, Director of Asset Management at Al Mal Capital, told Gulf News.
"High oil prices will be the main drivers of the region's economy. However, the global economic growth is going to determine the level of oil prices. There's a lot of uncertainty in the market. I think, due to the lower level of foreign participation, the markets in Saudi Arabia and UAE will be facing less selling pressure in the week ahead than the markets in Eqypt and Qatar," Qaqish added.
Yesterday, Saudi Arabian shares plunged to the lowest level since March after data from the US, India and China fuelled concern that global economic growth is slowing.
"Investors are finally seeing the global recovery for what it is — like walking through mud. There is no easy way out of the problems of the world. The big old economies have issues that will continue to weigh on sentiment for some years to come. Investors have to be careful not to overpay for assets," said Gary Dugan, Chief Investment Officer for Private Banking at Emirates NBD, in a research note.
Last week, US stocks fell for the sixth straight week, giving the Dow Jones Industrial Average its longest slump since 2002, as investor concern that the global economy is slowing intensified.
The S&P 500 lost 2.2 per cent to 1,270.98, its lowest level since March 16. The benchmark gauge for US equities has also dropped for six consecutive weeks, the longest retreat since 2008. The Dow fell 199.35 points, or 1.6 per cent, to 11,951.91.
European stocks fell for a sixth week as Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke gave no hint that he will unveil a new round of stimulus to support an economic recovery that investors believe is faltering.