Gulf stock markets mixed after US signals higher interest rates

[view original post]

The stock exchange in the United Arab Emirates’ largest city fell today. 

The Dubai Financial Market closed down 0.4 percent, according to stock data from Bloomberg. Reuters reported that the drop was due to the US Federal Reserve signaling a rise in interest rates in the near future. Among major companies listed on the exchange, the Emirates NBD Bank’s stock fell 1.1 percent, while the real estate firm Emaar Properties dropped 0.8 percent, according to Reuters. 

Interest rates refer to the amount of interest owed in a given period on money that is loaned, borrowed or deposited in a bank. The chairman of the US Federal Reserve Jerome Powell told a US Senate committee on Jan. 11 that the monetary institution is likely to raise interest rates in March, due to rising inflation in the United States. 

US interest rates tend to affect economies worldwide. Lower interest rates in general often stimulate investment in the stock market. 

Other Gulf stock exchanges experienced gains at the close of the Islamic work week yesterday, on the other hand. The Bahrain Stock Exchange was up 0.65 percent, the Kuwait Stock Exchange 0.15 percent, the Saudi Stock Exchange 1.02 percent and the Qatar Stock Exchange 1.27 percent, according to Bloomberg. 

The UAE switched to a Monday-Friday work week at the start of the year, in part to help business interactions with the West and Asia. The rest of the Gulf retains the traditional Sunday-Thursday work week common throughout the Muslim world.