Markets are set to consolidate in small ranges on Wednesday as the U.S. government shutdown and technical barriers deter major buying.
Global markets are not panicked by events in the United States and are betting on a short shutdown; a longer shutdown could be positive in a way by encouraging the U.S. Federal Reserve to delay any monetary tightening. Asian shares are slightly higher on Wednesday morning.
However, the U.S. political chaos and the prospect of a fight over the U.S. debt ceiling in mid-October are making investors somewhat cautious.
Brent crude oil has extended its losses below $108 a barrel, a moderately negative indicator for Saudi petrochemical shares.
Meanwhile, technical resistance is capping some markets; Dubai, which last closed at 2,756 points, has so far failed to break cleanly above resistance on its August peak of 2,762 points while turnover has started to shrink in recent days, suggesting the chances of a break in the near term may be dropping.
Abu Dhabi-listed telecommunications operator Etisalat may see increased buying interest after its unit Pakistan Telecommunication Co submitted a takeover bid for rival mobile operator Warid Telecom.
Shares in PTCL are up 0.5 percent on the Karachi stock exchange. Investors have tended to welcome Etisalat's overseas expansion plans, though some have had mixed success.
Egypt's market, which last closed at 5,678 points, has tested but failed to break cleanly above technical resistance at 5,682 points in the past few days.