Egyt falls, aus­ter­ity wor­ries hit Qatar

Kuwait Times - - BUSINESS -

DUBAI: Egypt’s stock mar­ket dropped sharply for a third straight day yes­ter­day be­cause of spec­u­la­tion about a pos­si­ble cur­rency de­val­u­a­tion or rise in lo­cal in­ter­est rates. Gulf mar­kets fell, with Qatar hit by con­cern about loom­ing aus­ter­ity poli­cies. The Egyp­tian in­dex tum­bled 4.4 per­cent to 6,825 points, bring­ing its losses in the past three trad­ing days to 9.5 per­cent. It broke through tech­ni­cal sup­port at its Septem­ber low; the next sup­port is its Au­gust low of 6,641 points.

Strong US eco­nomic data on Fri­day raised ex­pec­ta­tions for a US rate hike next month. Mean­while, the Rus­sian air­liner crash in the Si­nai threat­ens to slash Egyp­tian tourism rev­enues. With sag­ging for­eign ex­change re­serves, Egypt is in poor shape to cope with ei­ther threat. Its debt pointed to a new mood of aus­ter­ity.

Other Gulf mar­kets were de­pressed by low oil prices and weak global eq­ui­ties. The Saudi in­dex dropped 0.4 per­cent, although miner Ma’aden stood out, climb­ing 3.0 per­cent. Dubai’s stock in­dex dropped 2.4 per­cent as Emaar Prop­er­ties fell 3.7 per­cent. Abu Dhabi lost 0.6 per­cent as Al­dar Prop­er­ties sank 2.6 per­cent, de­spite re­port­ing a 9.4 per­cent rise in third-quar­ter net profit to 634.3 mil­lion dirhams ($172.7 mil­lion), beat­ing SICO Bahrain’s fore­cast of 490.7 mil­lion dirhams.

In Kuwait, lo­gis­tics giant Agility climbed 2.0 per­cent af­ter re­port­ing a 5 per­cent rise in third-quar­ter net profit to KD13.7 mil­lion ($45.1 mil­lion); SICO Bahrain had fore­cast KD12.7 mil­lion. Kuwait’s stock in­dex was al­most flat. — Reuters

BRUS­SELS: Ger­man Finance Min­is­ter Wolf­gang Schauble (right) speaks with Liecht­en­stein Prime Min­is­ter Adrian Hasler dur­ing an Eco­nomic and Fi­nan­cial Af­fairs Coun­cil (ECOFIN) meet­ing at the Euro­pean Coun­cil, in Brus­sels yes­ter­day. — AFP

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