Region’s stock markets may rise as oil prices hold firm
Analysts say stock markets in the region may see a minor rally in the week ahead with oil prices holding firm, an end to the political crisis in Libya in sight and an increased possibility of a third round of quantitative easing by the US Federal Reserve after the latest data showed weaker than expected jobs growth.
Alan Durrant, chief investment officer of Asset Management Group at the National bank of Abu Dhabi, told Gulf News that stocks in the region selectively present a good buying opportunity. “The markets [in the region] could see a minor upside as they are somewhere near the bottom. “However, they will be driven by international events as there has been little by the way of local economic and corporate news,” said Durrant.
“International markets were pretty good for much of last week, and this could feed through into our markets. There may be an increase in the volume of share transactions, which would be good for both investors and local brokers.” Another analyst said the region’s markets are now looking for catalysts to build their momentum for a possible year-end rally. “With the Eid holidays coming to an end, the investors might start building their positions. However, what direction our markets would take would largely be determined by the global investor sentiment,” he added.
Global markets witnessed a sell-off on Friday as investors dumped stocks on fears the US, the world’s largest economy, was heading towards yet another recession. That day, the Labour Department said US payrolls were unchanged last month, the weakest reading since September 2010 and worse than the median economist forecast that called for growth of 68,000. As a consequence, the S&P 500 fell 2.5 percent to 1,173.97 at the close in New York and the Stoxx Europe 600 Index lost 2.4 percent. The Dollar Index rose 0.4 percent in a fourth straight gain, its longest rally since January, and the Swiss franc rose versus all 16 major peers.
Ten-year Treasury yields sank 14 basis points to 1.99 percent, four points above a record low, and the 30-year rate reached the lowest since 2009. Gold jumped 2.6 percent to $1,876.90 an ounce, while oil lost 2.8 percent.
Asian stocks too, declined on Friday paring the biggest weekly gain since March, as nervousness swept across regional markets and confidence in riskier assets took a beating.