DUBAI: Gulf Arab bourses were little moved Wednesday, with investors wary ahead of a decision by the U.S. Federal Reserve on whether to scale back its ultra-loose stimulus program. The Federal Reserve refrained from reducing its $85 billion of monthly asset buying, termed Quantitative Easing.
“As long as the Fed doesn’t take hard decisions on tapering the QE, things should be under control here,” Sebastien Henin, portfolio manager at The National Investor, said ahead of the conclusion of the Federal Open Market Committee meeting.
Gulf equities may see some spillover should global bourses slump, but a larger effect would be felt on fixed income markets, he added.
Dubai’s measure fell 0.3 percent to 2,609 points, down for a third day since Sunday’s two-and-half-week high.
Abu Dhabi’s dipped 0.3 percent, trimming 2013 gains to 43 percent.
In Kuwait, the market rose 1.2 percent to a three-week high as retail investors built positions ahead of third-quarter results season, which will begin later next month.
“Earnings are expected to be better than estimates, because analysts have been very conservative,” said Fouad Darwish, head of brokerage at Global Investment House.
Saudi Arabia’s measure retreated 0.4 percent, declining for a second day since Monday’s three-week high.
Heavyweight sectors lost ground, with the petrochemical index down 0.6 percent and banking sector index easing 0.3 percent.
Qatar’s measure rose 0.3 percent to 9,833 points, heading back toward the August peak of 10,110.
Elsewhere, Oman’s Galfar Engineering fell 1.3 percent to 0.312 rials after the firm said it would increase its capital by issuing of 49.5 million shares at 0.28 rials per share to existing holders.
In Egypt, the index fell 0.6 percent, ending an eight-session winning streak.
Shares in Orascom Construction Industries dropped 1.4 percent to 254.95 pounds ($36.99) after Dutch-listed parent firm OCI NV launched an equity offering of up to 150 million euros and a convertible bond offer for up to 350 million euros.
The parent firm announced a buyout offer for Orascom and already owns more than 97 percent in OCI.
The offer is at 255 pounds per share in cash or one share of Amsterdam-listed OCI NV.