Arabian Gulf markets close up while Russian market falls amid OPEC deal fallout

A general view of Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) among high-rise towers in Dubai. (File photo: Reuters)

Arabian Gulf markets closed up on Tuesday following two days of significant drops following the failure of talks in Vienna between OPEC and Russia to secure a further oil output cut.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and non-member allies, led by Russia, known as the OPEC+ alliance, had committed to an output cut agreement to stabilize oil prices. Futures prices of Brent crude fell over 25 percent, while North America’s WTI crude dropped to around $29 per barrel on Monday in the worst day of trading for both futures contracts since 1991. Middle East stock markets plummeted across the board for two days, while global stocks fell sharply as panicked investors fled equities for safe havens.

The Saudi Stock Exchange’s (Tadawul) headline All Share Index closed up 7.07 percent, while in Dubai, the General Index, closed up 7.32 percent led by a recovery in finance and real estate in Emirates NBD, Dubai Islamic Bank, and developer Emaar.

Abu Dhabi’s index closed up 5.52 percent, with First Abu Dhabi Bank, the region’s largest bank, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, and telecoms firm Etisalat leading the recovery.

After two days of trading suspensions, the Kuwaiti bourse ended up 0.3 percent.

Meanwhile, the Russian RTS stock index plummeted more than 10 percent on opening, following a public holiday, led by oil firms Rosneft and LUKOIL. The index later recovered to a 7.53 percent slide as of 3:08 p.m. AST.

The failure of OPEC to secure a deal has left markets in fear of a price war. Saudi Aramco announced on Tuesday that it will increase its April oil output to 12.3 million barrels per day, up around 2.5 million barrels per day from March.

Russian oil firms and the country’s energy ministry are set to meet on Wednesday to discuss future cooperation with OPEC, sources said later in the afternoon on Tuesday.

“We plan to discuss whether to return to (cooperation with) OPEC or not,” one of the sources said.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 10:02 - GMT 07:02
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