The first week of 2018 brought good news all across the Gulf Cooperation Council. With oil prices having reached a two-year high not long before, member nations were feeling positive about their prospects.
Although most have begun the process of adjusting to a lower petroleum pricing regime and its effects on their revenues, increased income from that regionally important resource is always welcome. As a result, equity markets throughout the GCC turned in impressive results with their first week of trading in 2018. A report from Al Masah Capital Management published in The Gulf Today focused on the top performers.
Good News and Strong Performances Throughout the Gulf
As many had expected, the United Arab Emirates led the way. With economies that are significantly more diversified than those of other member nations, Abu Dhabi and Dubai tend to fare well even when other GCC countries are struggling. At the same time, these two emirates also frequently benefit even more from positive news on the petroleum markets than do other nations that depend much more heavily on related revenues.
As a result, Abu Dhabi recorded impressive gains of 3.4 percent across its equity markets through the first week of 2018. Dubai was not far behind at just under three percent, with both emirates also seeing notably high trading volume.
Saudi Arabia also had positive news to report, with an index summarizing its equity markets ticking upward a significant 0.7 percent over the course of the week. Kuwait clocked in at exactly the same level, making for a stronger week than many had predicted.
Although markets in both Bahrain and Egypt lost significant ground, Oman’s markets remained mostly flat. The Al Masah Capital analyst responsible for the report also cautioned that even these somewhat less rosy developments could be seen as positive signs, as there is evidence that profit taking was the prime culprit.
Optimism Prevails Regarding the Months to Come
Even with only a single full week of trading having been concluded, experts remain confident in predicting that 2018 will be a strong year throughout the GCC. Between somewhat higher petroleum prices and a host of other economic good news, bullish investors likely have a lot to look forward to.