Regional trading activity continues to remain negative

Global equity markets continued the positive trajectory for the second consecutive week as investors turned positive on containment hopes of the new coronavirus. However, bond yields remained unchanged during the week, which suggests that investors are cautiously optimistic.
Furthermore, economists are expecting noticeable slowdown in Q1 2020 due to decline in consumer demand and production in China. Brent crude snapped its losing streak of five consecutive weeks to close higher by 5.23 per cent during the week, as signs of containment in new coronavirus cases would limit the impact of demand for fuel in the coming quarters.
Regional markets performed negatively during the week as 7 out of the 8 indexes closed in red, while Bahrain was the only index to record gains of 0.39 per cent. Saudi Arabia performed negatively with losses of 2.22 per cent followed by 1.75 per cent in Egypt.
Disappointing economic data followed with downgrades in earnings could potentially trigger volatility in the short-term. Although the Central Banks will come to the rescue but would need substantial evidence to take appropriate measures to boost economic activity.
For the region, trading activity continued to remain negative despite the positive sentiments in the global markets. The rise of oil prices during the past week has not resulted in any substantial uptick in regional markets as investors are concerned about the broader impact of virus on fuel demand and its subsequent impact on regional economies.