Comparative Performance of Selected Financial Markets – January 2020

After the majority of markets achieved positive performances during 2019 where 13 markets out of 14 markets of the sample were gainers and one losing market. The positive performance continued in January 2020 for the GCC stock markets although with slight gains for some. The only exception was the Saudi market whose index achieved a loss. Most of the damage affected the Eurozone, East Asian markets and the US market.The biggest gainer in January was Bahrain Stock Exchange whose index gained about 2.9% after it ended the 2019 year as the sixth biggest gainer with about 20.4% gains. This means the continued positive impact of the rise in Al-Ahli United Bank, the largest bank in Bahrain, share which gained a capital value of 68.8% in 2019 and 5.9% in January 2020. The second-largest gainer in January was the Muscat market whose index added in one month about 2.5%, to start a compensation phase after a poor performance in 2019 as it was the only loser among the sample markets, by losing -7.9% in that year. Abu Dhabi and Dubai markets came next by 1.6% and 0.9% rise respectively. The Boursa Kuwait All-Share market index gained 0.7% in January thus becoming the most gainer in the sample if its January 2020 gains were added to the 2019 Boursa gains. The least gainer was the Qatari market with 0.2% gains added to 1.2% gains for 2019.

The biggest loser in January was the British market whose index lost about -3.4% after confirming Brexit. Next came the French market which lost -2.9%, then the Chinese market by -2.4% loss, which is just the beginning of the negative effects of Coronavirus. Another decline in the Eurozone was the German market which lost about -2%, and then the Japanese market which lost -1.9%. The least loser was the American market whose market index lost -1%.

It is expected that the negative performance will be apparently dominant in February due to the widespread impact of the Corona epidemic. All global commodity and service sectors will be hit due to the extensive linkage with the Chinese economy. Unless the epidemic is controlled, the sample markets would be subject to a correction process, some of which are essential.