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Monday, 1 January 2018

Funds bet big on Qatar stocks for 2018 - The Peninsula Qatar

Funds bet big on Qatar stocks for 2018 - The Peninsula Qatar:

"Qatar stock market finished the final month of a difficult 2017 on high note, as the benchmark index surged 10.49 percent or 809.12 points in December, compared to the previous month. The index fell 0.03 percent to 8,523.38 points before closing the tumultuous year, yesterday. The benchmark index lost 18.33 percent or 1,913.38 points in 2017. But top fund managers from the region predicted a strong market recovery in the new year. 2018 is going to be the year, when earnings start kicking up with the aggressive government spending, they believe. Qatar stocks’ valuation and trading volume are at significant discounts. This would provide an attractive entry point for investors in 2018, especially in a healthier oil price scenario. A synchronised global growth is also going to influence the local market.  Oil prices are spiking up. There will not be any major macro concern for Qatar in 2018, analysts said."



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Crisis of expectations: Iran protests mean economic dilemma for government

Crisis of expectations: Iran protests mean economic dilemma for government:

"Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani may have to step back from some of his core economic policies in the face of nationwide protests by tens of thousands of people frustrated by high unemployment and stagnant living standards.

The protests, during which at least 10 people have been killed, are fueled by disappointment that the lifting of sanctions on Iran in January 2016 has failed to deliver an economic boom.

Instead, the non-oil part of the economy has continued to struggle, with unemployment officially put at around 12.5 percent - in reality, much higher for Iran’s millions of young people - and inflation running at nearly 10 percent."



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A mixed bag for Saudi companies in Q4 earnings | ZAWYA MENA Edition

A mixed bag for Saudi companies in Q4 earnings | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"Earnings for Saudi equities (except financials) is expected to be largely tepid in the final quarter of 2017. Petrochemical sector profitability is likely to be mixed on a sequential basis in Q4. Companies with fixed feedstock costs will benefit from higher product prices, while companies with market-linked raw material prices will see contraction in margins due to sharper increase in feedstock costs. Retail sector companies under coverage will see sluggish growth compared to the same period last year due to lower consumer spending, though reinstatement of public sector salaries will have some positive impact."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi shares fall after gasoline price hike

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi shares fall after gasoline price hike:

"Saudi Arabia’s stock market fell on Monday after the government sharply raised domestic gasoline prices, a step that will help to cut its budget deficit but will also crimp consumers’ purchasing power. The Saudi stock index dropped 0.5 percent in active trade as real estate firm Dar Al Arkan, the most heavily traded stock, plunged 10 percent. It had more than doubled in price in the last quarter of 2017. Bus operator Saudi Public Transport Co, which could benefit if driving of private cars is curbed by higher gasoline prices, gained 3.6 percent. Car rental company Budget Saudi fell 2.6 percent. "



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How China Will Shake Up the Oil Futures Market - Bloomberg

How China Will Shake Up the Oil Futures Market - Bloomberg:

"China, the world’s biggest oil buyer, is on the verge of opening a domestic market to trade futures contracts. It’s been planning one for years, only to encounter delays. The Shanghai International Energy Exchange, a unit of Shanghai Futures Exchange, will be known by the acronym INE and will allow Chinese buyers to lock in oil prices and pay in local currency. Also, foreign traders will be allowed to invest -- a first for China’s commodities markets -- because the exchange is registered in Shanghai’s free trade zone. There are implications for the U.S. dollar’s well-established role as the global currency of the oil market.

1. When will trading begin?

According to the Shanghai-based news portal Jiemian, which cited an unidentified person from a futures company, trading is expected to start Jan. 18. Multiple rounds of testing have been carried out and all listing requirements met. The State Council, China’s cabinet, was said to have given its approval in December, one of the final regulatory hurdles. The push for oil futures gained impetus in 2017 when China surpassed the U.S. as the world’s biggest crude importer.
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