Qatar shares suffer biggest weekly drop in two years on recession fears

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June 23 (Reuters) - Qatari shares led declines in the Gulf on Thursday to post their biggest weekly decline in more than two years, as investors worried that further rises in interest rates to quell decades-high inflation would tip economies into a recession.

U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said on Wednesday the central bank was not trying to engineer a recession to stop inflation but was fully committed to bringing prices under control even if doing so risked an economic downturn. read more

A Reuters poll showed the Fed will deliver another 75-basis-point interest rate hike in July, followed by a half-percentage-point rise in September, and won't scale back to quarter-percentage-point moves until November at the earliest. read more

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In Qatar, the benchmark index (.QSI) closed 1.6% lower, as stocks fell across board, with petrochemical maker Industries Qatar (IQCD.QA) sliding 4.4%.

The index posted a weekly loss of 6.4%, its biggest loss in a week since March 2020.

The Qatari stocks were volatile and could record more price corrections after a difficult week, said Eman AlAyyaf, chief executive officer of EA Trading.

"In this regard, investors' sentiment turned pessimistic and natural gas prices decreased."

Dubai's main share index (.DFMGI) retreated 1.1%, weighed down by a 1.9% decline in blue-chip developer Emaar Properties (EMAR.DU).

In Abu Dhabi, the equities (.FTFADGI) dropped 0.6%, hit by a 1.5% drop in telecoms firm e& (ETISALAT.AD).

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index (.TASI) eased 0.1% in a choppy trade, with Sahara International Petrochemical Company (2310.SE) losing 3.2%.

Outside the Gulf, Egypt's blue-chip index .

According to AlAyyaf, the market remains strongly exposed to another bout of decreases as international investors sell.

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Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel

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