DUBAI Oct 5 Stock markets in the Gulf may
consolidate on Wednesday with firm oil prices providing support
but the approach of third-quarter corporate earnings
announcements keeping many investors on the sidelines.
Brent oil futures have risen 4.4 percent since
Friday to above $51 a barrel. But third-quarter earnings in much
of the Gulf look set to be weak because of low oil prices and
governments' austerity policies.
Although Riyadh's general market index rebounded 2.0
percent on Tuesday, trading volume shrank, suggesting a
sustained rally is not likely. The index is down 1.7 percent so
far this month.
The weakness in the region's largest market by value has
dented sentiment in neighbouring bourses. Dubai's stock index
is down 2.0 percent this week; it turned technically
bearish on Monday when it broke technical support on the August
and September lows of 3,430-3,442 points, which became immediate
Analysts at NBAD Securities said most Dubai stocks were now
below their 50-day moving averages and any recovery in the near
term could only be sustained on higher trading volumes.
GFH Financial may attract some interest after Fitch
Ratings raised the outlook for its debt to positive from stable,
citing steps which GFH's management have taken to strengthen the
balance sheet by paying down debt, reshaping the business model
with a focus on income-generating investments, and improvement -
from a low base - of profitability.
(Reporting by Celine Aswad; Editing by Andrew Torchia)