|01-04-2015, 01:58 PM||#1|
Gulf stocks mixed on lower oil prices, Dubai and Oman budgets offer support
Stock markets in the Gulf started the year on a cautious tone after Brent crude oil prices dropped to $56.42 a barrel on Friday, but expansionary fiscal budgets by Oman and Dubai offered some support.
On December 25, Saudi Arabia announced it would keep government spending at a high level, which then eased investor fears over the impact of lower revenues from oil on economic growth.
Investors rejoiced and sparked a recovery on battered stock markets in the region, and markets became less prone for a panic sell-off, even after oil prices hit new lows in the following sessions.
Over the weekend, oil prices hit a new post-2009 low, falling nearly $1 to $56.42 on Friday. At the same time, Oman and Dubai announced budgets with increased expected spending.
Dubai said it will increase spending by 9% this year, while eliminating its budget deficit as well.
Oman’s government said will increase spending by 4.5% but at the cost of a big expected deficit. However, Oman took measures that could affect companies, such as cuttings subsidies on natural gas.
However, with oil prices still volatile and uneasy, investors are likely to stay cautious before taking bullish positions on good news.
Dubai’s main index was down 0.3% alongside Abu Dhabi’s stock market. Kuwait fell 0.5% but the Qatar Exchange gained 0.6%. Data as of 07:00 GMT.
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