August 15, 2019 / 1:28 PM / 8 days ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf stocks slide amid mounting fears of global slowdown

    * Egypt ends four days of gains
    * Financials biggest drag on Egypt, Qatar
    * Dubai's property shares underperform 
    * Saudi was closed for Eid holiday

    By Maqsood Alam 
    Aug 15 (Reuters) - Most Middle East stock markets dropped on Thursday as
disappointing economic signals from China and Europe coupled with an inverted
U.S. bond yield curve stoked fears that the global economy was hurtling toward
recession. 
    Gross domestic product growth in the 19-country euro zone slowed down to
0.2% in the second quarter, from 0.4% in the first three months of the year,
while intensifying U.S. trade war sent China's industrial output growth cooling
to a more than 17-year low.
    Reinforcing the looming global slowdown was the U.S. treasury bond yield
inversion, meaning rates on short-term bonds were higher than long-term yields,
which is widely seen as signalling recession.  
    The mounting concerns also caused oil prices to shed a further 3%, extending
the previous session's 3% drop.
    Egypt's index closed 1.7% lower ending its four-day winning streak.
The index particularly jumped in the previous two sessions on news that the
country's headline inflation rate fell to its lowest in nearly four years.
    Commercial International Bank was down 2% and cigarette maker
Eastern Company fell 3.1%. It raised prices of some of its cigarettes
by 4.5% to 6%, citing higher labour costs.
    In Dubai, the index was down 1.3% led by real estate stocks. The
emirate's blue-chip developer Emaar Properties shed 1.9% while DAMAC
Properties fell 3.2%. The two firms earlier this month reported lower
second-quarter profit, hurt by the emirate's slumping property market.
    The emirate's oversupplied residential real estate market, down by at least
a quarter since the middle of 2014, is showing no signs of a recovery.
    Qatar's index dropped as much as 2.4%, but it clawed back some losses
to close 0.6% lower after the central bank said Qatar's economic growth would
accelerate over the next two years amid expectations of stable oil prices and
continued strong exports.
    Qatar Insurance and Vodafone Qatar fell 3% and 4.6%,
respectively.
    The Abu Dhabi index was flat as a 1.1% gain in market heavyweight
First Abu Dhabi Bank offset losses in real estate sector.
    Saudi Arabia and Oman remained closed for their week-long Eid holiday and
will resume trading from Sunday. 
    
 ABU DHABI     The index        was flat at 5,055 points
 DUBAI         The index          was down 1.3% at 2,796 points
 QATAR         The index        dropped 0.6% to 9,622 points
 EGYPT         The index          fell 1.7% to 14,295 points
 BAHRAIN       The index        was down 0.3% at 1,535 points
 KUWAIT        The index        slipped 0.8% at 6,685 points
 
 (Reporting by Maqsood Alam in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Chopra)
  
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