Muscat: Oman’s benchmark stock exchange, Muscat Securities Exchange (MSX), continued to maintain a stronger profile than its regional counterparts, according to an industry expert.
“Thanks to the exchange’s exposure to the oil and natural gas markets as well as strong earnings reports from local companies, the MSX index made gains,” said Wael Makarem, Senior Market Strategist – Mena at Exness, in an exclusive interview with Times. from Oman.
“Besides the Abu Dhabi Stock Market, the Muscat Stock Exchange was the only stock exchange in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region to stay close to this year’s top,” he added.
The benchmark MSX ended the week of September 15 at 4,478.67, while the MSX Sharia Index closed the week’s trading session at 485.43. The total turnover of the MSX index at the end of the week of September 15 was OMR 9.64 billion while the total market capitalization reached OMR 23.21 billion.
Asked about the short and long-term risks facing the financial markets of Oman and other neighboring GCC countries, Wael Makarem said: “Among the main risks facing the Omani stock markets as well as others in the region figure energy volatility. prices.”
“Crude oil prices could fall as demand could decline further as the global economy continues to slow and investors brace for recession as interest rates continue to rise. natural gas prices which are strongly affected by geopolitical tensions in Europe,” he added.
Elaborating on the expectations of the coming months for the MSX and its peers, Wael Makarem said that the MSX has been supported this year by the strong results published by its listed companies and in particular the banks. The market was also supported by rising oil and gas prices in the first half of the year before being pushed higher by strong second quarter results.
“In the short term, the market could remain under pressure due to the overall decline in crude prices. However, over a longer period, it could be boosted again if third quarter earnings are as good as the previous ones,” he added.
Elaborating on the reasons for the overall decline in international equity markets, he said several major events have occurred that have shaken investors’ risk appetite.
“However, the most persistent reason is the tightening of monetary policy and central banks changing their interest rates, to curb the surge in inflation. The chances of having a recession increase day by day, as as interest rates rise,” he added.
“So investors prefer to flee risky assets, and that could continue unless we have a clear view that inflation is slowing and central banks are ready to hold,” he concluded.
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