Nov 23 – Major stock markets in the Gulf fell in early trade on Thursday on falling oil prices after OPEC+ postponed a ministerial meeting, leading to speculation that producers might cut output less than earlier anticipated.
Brent futures were down USD 1.02, or 1.2%, at USD 80.94 a barrel by 0625 GMT, after falling as much as 4% on Wednesday.
In a surprise move, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies including Russia delayed to Nov. 30 a ministerial meeting where they were expected to discuss oil output cuts.
Producers were struggling to agree on output levels and hence possible reductions ahead of the meeting originally set for Nov. 26, OPEC+ sources said.
Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index fell 0.1%, on course to extend losses from the previous session, hit by a 0.2% drop in oil giant Saudi Aramco.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud reaffirmed their commitment to preventing a spread of the Israel-Palestinian conflict on Wednesday, the State Department said.
In Abu Dhabi, the index eased 0.1%.
Trading worldwide was expected to be subdued due to the closure of US markets for the Thanksgiving holiday.
Dubai’s main share index dropped 0.3%, weighed down by a 2.3% fall in Emirates Central Cooling Systems and a 0.5% decrease in sharia-compliant lender Dubai Islamic Bank.
However, the losses were cushioned as confidence grew that interest rates globally will head lower next year.
The Qatari benchmark retreated 0.3%, with petrochemical maker Industries Qatar losing 1.2%.
(Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru. Editing by Bernadette Baum)