KUWAIT CITY: – Most Gulf stock markets recovered slightly on Wednesday after four straight days of losses, even though oil prices, which have driven the slide, plumbed new multi-year lows.
But market sentiment remained volatile, with the Arab world’s largest exchange, the Saudi Tadawul All-Shares Index, sinking back into the red after opening trading up 2.0 percent.
The index fluctuated sharply and was trading 0.21 percent down on 7,314.6 points.
Dubai Financial Market Index, which has been the region’s biggest loser, was also highly volatile.
It opened with a drop then rebounded and continued to fluctuate. It was trading up 1.0 percent, above the 3,100-point mark.
Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange was the day’s biggest winner, gaining 2.5 percent to near the 4,000-point level.
Qatar Exchange, the Gulf’s second largest, was up 1.0 percent just below the 11,200-point mark.
Kuwait Stock Exchange fell 1.0 percent, while the small Muscat Securities Market was up 0.8 percent.
The Bahraini exchange was closed for the second day of a national holiday.
Gulf stock markets had plunged in the previous four sessions as oil prices hit five-year lows causing panic among investors.
Oil suffered fresh losses in Asian trade on Wednesday, as dealers monitored the slide of the Russian ruble and awaited the latest US crude supply report, analysts said.
US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for January delivery sank $1.16 in afternoon trade to $54.77 while Brent crude for February fell 71 cents to $59.30 on the contract’s first day of trading.
Brent for January finished down $1.20 at $59.86 in London, after slipping below the psychological $60 for the first time since July 2009.