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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - JEDDAH — MENA investors expected to be cautious due to the heightened risk in geopolitical environment, Allied Investment Partners PJSC Market Report said.
Global equity markets closed on a mixed note, taking a breather after a sharp rise in 2019. The heightened geopolitical risk in the Middle East, following the US airstrike in Iraq led to pullback in global equities and rise in oil and gold prices towards the end of the week.
However, the Chinese market recorded its fifth consecutive week of gains on the back of the stimulus provided by country’s Central Bank, reassuring investors that the government will ensure ample liquidity amid a wider slowdown. Brent crude oil prices were up 0.65%, rising for the fourth consecutive week, primarily supported by heightened risk arising from the US airstrike in Iraq.
For the regional markets, the weekly performance was relatively positive as all the 8 indexes closed in green. Oman was the best performing index regionally with gains of 3.59%, followed by 0.99% in Abu Dhabi.
Going forward, the rising geopolitical uncertainties could continue to weigh on investor sentiments and lead to volatility in the short-term. However, improving economic fundamentals and monetary policy could remain supportive for equity markets in the medium-term.
Furthermore, investors will shift focus on earnings to access their strategies and accordingly position themselves for the year. For the MENA region, investors will turn cautious due to the heightened risk in geopolitical environment and further escalations could lead to downward pressure in regional equities. — SG
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