Gulf markets are set to move narrowly in thin trade on Thursday with investors unlikely to add to their holdings ahead of a week of Eid holidays starting on Sunday.
In Asia, Japanese shares and the dollar are up on hopes that Washington will resolve its political crisis over the U.S. debt ceiling. But there is still no concrete sign of how the problem will be solved, so investors will stay cautious.
Global oil prices fell about 1 percent on Wednesday evening because of a jump in U.S. crude oil stocks, a modest negative for petrochemical shares.
Third-quarter earnings released in the Gulf so far have been mixed, with several Saudi Arabian banks coming in below estimates, so earnings anticipation looks unlikely to provide much of a boost to markets.
Egypt’s market has this week ignored negative news from inside and outside the country, including fresh political violence and a partial suspension of U.S. aid to Cairo. So it may continue to rise on the view among local investors that the army-backed government is succeeding in stabilizing the economy and the security situation.
The main index, which last closed at a fresh eight-month high of 5,802 points, faces major technical resistance around the September 2012 high of 6,025 points.