DUBAI, April 10 Escalation of geopolitical risk
in the Middle East may keep foreign funds away from stock
markets there on Monday.
At least 44 people were killed in Egypt in bomb attacks on
Palm Sunday, prompting anger and fear among Christians and
leading to troop deployments and the declaration of a
three-month state of emergency.
Egypt's index fell 1.6 percent on Sunday in
reaction to the attacks, with most of the stocks favoured by
foreign funds exiting positions.
That trend will likely extend on Monday as the majority of
foreign portfolio managers - who were on their weekend break on
Sunday - may turn net sellers.
Elsewhere in the region, top aides to U.S. President Donald
Trump also differed on where U.S. policy on Syria was headed
after last week's attack on a Syrian air base.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan
fell for a third consecutive session as
geopolitical uncertainty heightened.
With Brent crude futures, however, trading slightly
up at $55.34 per barrel and heading back towards a five-week
peak touched on Friday, shares of petrochemical producers in
Saudi Arabia - which make up roughly one-fifth of the total
market cap of the index - may outperform, lending some support
to that index.
(Reporting by Celine Aswad; Editing by Biju Dwarakanath)