Muscat: The performance of various GCC market indices diverged during the month with Saudi Arabian Tadawul index gaining 3.8 per cent in the month of March, registering a considerable positive movement from the negative returns of 0.8 per cent witnessed last month, an new report stated.
The overall yearly gain for Saudi Arabia stands at 12.3 per cent and ranks the best among all Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) market for 2019, Kuwait Financial Centre (Markaz) said in its recently released Monthly Markets Review report.
On the anticipation of Tadawul being upgraded by FTSE Russell, MSCI and S&P Dow Jones (S&P DJI) indices, foreign investors are looking to increase their investments in the Saudi Stock Exchange.
Foreign investors have been a net buyer since December 2018, as the net traded value by foreign investors in 2019 (up to 27th March) is US$2.18 billion).
Qatar Bahrain, and Dubai Financial Market General Index ended the month on a flat note while Abu Dhabi index registered a monthly loss of 1.2 per cent. Oman trailed all other markets with a monthly loss of 3.9 per cent.
Global Equities continued to offer positive returns, however, the pace of growth seems to have slowed down. This was evidenced by MSCI World index which increased by just one per cent for the month of March. The US S&P 500 index saw gains of 1.8 per cent in March with yearly gains now at 13.1 per cent.
However, growth forecasts for the US economy depicts a negative outlook as the Federal Reserve voted to hold interest rates steady and shaved its growth forecast. Indian markets dominated the equity indices across the globe delivering monthly returns of 7.82 per cent to its investors.
The Chinese markets continued to offer positive returns with a 5.1 per cent gain in March, taking the yearly gains up to a staggering 24 per cent in 2019. The Chinese markets could see further growth upwards as the government has announced stimulus measures of nearly US$300 billion.
Oil markets have continued the rally for the third straight month in 2019 as Brent Crude prices rose by an additional 3.6 per cent to US$68.4 per barrel during the month of March. Oil prices have found support from efforts by the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) and non-affiliated allies like Russia, to trim output and prices are expected to rise further.
On top of US sanctions, Venezuela is experiencing massive power cuts, which has crippled its oil industry further pushing the prices higher.