MENA stocks were mostly down in April. Morocco lost the most, falling 5.98% from the previous month. Following it was Palestine down 3.97%, Saudi Arabia with 3.53%, Abu Dhabi with 1.93%, Dubai at 1.09%, Qatar at 0.99%, Egypt at 0.69%, and Jordan at 0.46%. Some gainers included Tunisia, up 5.59%, Kuwait gained 3.3%, Oman at 3.14%, and Bahrain with a slight 0.03%.
MENA indices reflected the varied results of the markets: the S&P Pan Arab Investible fell 2.33%, the Dow Jones MENA fell 2.6%, and the Dow Jones Islamic MENA was down 2.4%. However, year-to-date performance is mostly strong, with the S&P Pan Arab Investible up 3.74%, Dow Jones MENA increased 10.04%, and the Dow Jones Islamic MENA has risen 8.09%.
Political instability is still plaguing the region, particularly Egypt. Foreign reserves from $15.72 billion at the end of February to $15 billion at the end of March. However, some financial areas of the country are improving, as the government requested a $3.2 billion loan from the IMF. It sold 10-year bonds at a yield of 17.03%, for the first time since the beginning of the revolution.
Oil prices fell 3.7% in April and energy markets are struggling due to Iran’s volatility and its continued sanctions in reaction to its nuclear programs. The price of gold fell 3.7%.
Volatility is expected from MENA markets until a more solid stability is reached.
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