Economy, Business And Markets, World Economy

Saudi Stocks Fall

Saudi Stocks FallSaudi Stocks Fall

Saudi Arabian stocks declined the most in the Persian Gulf as the country’s equities traded for the first time in a week, tracking a selloff across developing nations as investors weigh the chances of a US interest rate increase this year.

The Tadawul All Share Index dropped 1.9% on Sunday as it reopened after a week-long religious holiday. That dragged Bloomberg’s (P)GCC 200 Index, a measure of the largest and most liquid companies in the six-nation (Persian) Gulf Cooperation Council, down 0.8% to a more than two-month low.

Emerging-market stocks posted the steepest five-day drop in more than four months last week amid growing speculation the Federal Reserve may increase interest rates by year-end, diminishing appetite for riskier developing-nation assets.

Meanwhile, oil retreated last week on speculation that Libya and Nigeria are preparing to boost exports, adding to growing skepticism that the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and Russia will agree on measures to stabilize the market at a meeting in Algiers later this month.

“Saudi stocks are basically pricing in the long period without trade during which emerging markets dropped considerably,” said Saleem Khokhar, the Abu Dhabi-based head of fund management and equities at the asset-management group of National Bank of Abu Dhabi PJSC, the United Arab Emirates’ second-biggest bank. “Expectations for the talks in Algiers are not so high any more, which is not good for Saudi Arabia at all.”