Qatar may stabilize as Kuwait tries to mediate, Gulf to consolidate


DUBAI – Qatar’s stock market may stabilize on Monday on hopes that the region’s diplomatic crisis will eventually be resolved, while other Gulf markets look set to consolidate because of a lack of positive corporate news.

The Qatari stock index index has dropped 8.7 percent since four Arab states cut links a week ago, and the initial shock of the sanctions against Qatar may now ease.

Qatari finance minister Ali Sherif al-Emadi, in one of the first detailed public responses of a Qatari economic official to the crisis, told CNBC television that the economy was essentially operating as normal and Doha could easily defend its currency. 

Also, many investors are still hoping for a diplomatic solution in coming weeks. Doha is ready to listen to the concerns of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait said on Sunday, as it tried to mediate a solution. 

Brent crude oil is trading at $48.41 a barrel, marginally higher than the previous close but still well below this year’s average, while MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan is down 0.8 percent.

Two UAE stocks could continue to attract the interest of speculators. 

In Abu Dhabi, Dana Gas soared 13.2 percent and was the most heavily traded stock on Sunday; it has rocketed 46 percent this month on news that it has received a portion of its overdue payments from Egypt and on hopes for its legal efforts to recover money from Iraqi Kurdistan.

Meanwhile, Dubai builder Drake & Scull rose 1.2 percent to 0.422 dirham; it has risen 5.5 percent since Thursday in unusually large volumes. Former chief executive Khaldoun Tabari has sold his stake in the company to Tabarak Investment, a source told Zawya, a Thomson Reuters publication.

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