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Qatar shares suffer biggest weekly drop in two years

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Qatar Financial Center (QFC) said on Monday that it has pledged $100 million to fund a new platform aimed at recovering distressed assets
  • Investors worried further rises in interest rates will cause a recession
  • Reuters poll forecast the Fed will deliver another rate hike in July
  •  Qatar closed 1.6% lower, as stocks fell across board
  • Dubai index retreated 1.1%, as Emaar Properties dropped 1.9%

June 23 (Reuters) – Qatari shares led declines in the Gulf on Thursday to post their biggest weekly decline in more than two years, as investors worried that further rises in interest rates to quell decades-high inflation would tip economies into a recession.

US Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said on Wednesday the central bank was not trying to engineer a recession to stop inflation but was fully committed to bringing prices under control even if doing so risked an economic downturn.

A Reuters poll showed the Fed will deliver another 75-basis-point interest rate hike in July, followed by a half-percentage-point rise in September, and won’t scale back to quarter-percentage-point moves until November at the earliest.

In Qatar, the benchmark index closed 1.6 percent lower, as stocks fell across board, with petrochemical maker Industries Qatar sliding 4.4 percent.

The index posted a weekly loss of 6.4 percent, its biggest loss in a week since March 2020.

The Qatari stocks were volatile and could record more price corrections after a difficult week, said Eman AlAyyaf, chief executive officer of EA Trading.

“In this regard, investors’ sentiment turned pessimistic and natural gas prices decreased.”

Dubai’s main share index retreated 1.1 percent, weighed down by a 1.9 percent decline in blue-chip developer Emaar Properties.

In Abu Dhabi, the equities dropped 0.6 percent, hit by a 1.5 percent drop in telecoms firm e&.

Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index eased 0.1 percent in a choppy trade, with Sahara International Petrochemical Company losing 3.2 percent.

Outside the Gulf, Egypt’s blue-chip index slipped 1.8 percent, hit by a 3 percent decline in top lender Commercial International Bank.

According to AlAyyaf, the market remains strongly exposed to another bout of decreases as international investors sell.

SAUDI ARABIA eased 0.1 percent to 11,311

ABU DHABI down 0.6 percent to 8,244

DUBAI fell 1.1 percent to 3,199

QATAR dropped 1.6 percent to 11,753

EGYPT dropped 1.8 percent to 9,440

BAHRAIN retreated 0.7 percent to 1,816

OMAN down 0.5 percent to 4,115

KUWAIT added 0.2 percent to 8,018