Gulf markets may struggle to hold on to recent gains amid a lack of local catalysts to push stocks higher
Gulf markets may struggle to hold on to recent gains on Wednesday amid a lack of local catalysts to push stocks higher, while investors wait for cues from Federal Reserve on possible policy action and stimulus measures.
Asian shares and commodities held steady. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke will give a speech to international central bankers gathering in Jackson Hole on Friday and European Central Bank meets next week to discuss further monetary easing.
Profit-taking weighed on most Gulf bourses on Tuesday, with UAE and Qatar's markets slipping further away from multi-week highs, while retail investor lifted Kuwait's measure as confidence returns.
Some investors however remain bullish on local markets, mainly UAE, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, for the short-term.
"We continue to be optimistic about regional markets' performance in the second half and we believe that third quarter results can provide the next trigger [at least for certain sectors]," says Sleiman Aboulhosn, assistant fund manager at Al Masah Capital, referring especially to consumer sectors which witnessed increased spending during Ramadan and Eid.
Dubai port operator DP World may see some selling pressure after the world's third largest port operator reported flat profits for the first half of this year, citing an uncertain global economic climate.
Brent crude futures slipped towards US$112 per barrel on Wednesday on expectations Hurricane Isaac, which hit land in Louisiana, would spare Gulf Coast oil production facilities from significant damage.