Stock Market Commentary: Vaccine optimism drives all markets higher


  • All GCC equity markets ended the month in green as oil prices jumped by 27% for the month after pharmaceutical firms Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca announced favorable news on COVID-19 vaccine development that rose investor hopes of quick recovery.
  • Kuwait stock markets rose for the month with the Kuwait Main Market index registering a gain of 1.6%. Kuwait All Share index gained of 0.3% while its index PE ratio stood at 20, a premium of 33% compared to S&P GCC index. Market liquidity in November as indicated by the average daily traded value increased by 64% over previous month to USD 323million.
  • Among Kuwait sectors, we witnessed investors rotating their positions from defensives to cyclicals underpinned by hopes of economic recovery. Oil & Gas was the top gainer, rising 7%, while Consumer Goods index saw the biggest decline, down 5.2% for the month. Among blue chips, Kuwait Finance House gained the most at 2.7%, while Agility Public Warehousing lost 3.5% for the month.
  • Regionally, the S&P GCC composite index gained 8.2%, with all markets ending the month in positive territory. Both Saudi Arabia (Tadawul) and Dubai equity markets gained 10.6% in November followed by Abu Dhabi and Qatar, which gained 6.5% and 5.9% respectively. All GCC Sectors were in the green with Healthcare index gaining the most at 11.4% for November followed by Basic Materials with a gain of 9.8%. Regionally, the S&P GCC composite index gained 8.2%, with all markets ending the month in positive territory.
  • The performance of global equity markets was also positive, with the MSCI World Index gaining 12.7% in November. U.S. market (S&P 500) gained 10.8%, the U.K (FTSE 100) markets gained 12.4% and the MSCI Emerging markets index increased by 9.2% for the month as investors were optimistic of investing in riskier assets due to vaccine development and continued monetary easing measures by central banks in the U.S and Europe.
  • Oil prices closed at USD 47.6 per barrel at the end of November 2020, posting a monthly gain of 27%. Oil markets were buoyed by favorable results in COVID-19 vaccine trials.

The above Market Commentary featured in our latest report – Global & GCC Capital Markets Review: November 2020. A monthly publication that covers the performance of GCC and global stock markets, provides economic commentary and captures the happenings in GCC. Click the link below to download the full report.

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The month that was: October 2020 Chart bank:

GCC Markets - Monthly Price Performance

GCC Markets - Year to Date Performance

GCC Sector Indices - Monthly Performance

GCC Sector Indices - Year to Date Performance

Global Markets - Monthly Price Performance

Global Markets - Year to Date Performance

Did You Know?

    • Kuwait banks have the highest provision coverage among GCC banks, at 230% of NPLs
    • Saudi Arabia has improved its position the most – surging past 30 countries, in Ease of Doing Business rankings for 2020.
    • Qatar enjoys the lowest break-even oil price at USD 53/bbl.

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