Your 60-Second Financial Markets summary - 12 Dec 2017…

2 major events moved the markets last week. The almost surprising agreement reached between the UK and EU regarding the Brexit discussions and the US non-farm payrolls.

Your 60-Second Financial Markets summary - 12 Dec 2017…

Global Markets Update:
2 major events moved the markets last week. The almost surprising agreement reached between the UK and EU regarding the Brexit discussions and the US non-farm payrolls. After being hit by a tech sell off, the S&P500 ended the week with another record (only a few points above the previous one on Nov. 30), as the payroll report spread another jolt of optimism on trading floors. European stocks were even more ebullient, especially financials, after the announcement of the Brexit deal which includes a harmonization of banking rules and the disclosure of the final Basel rules. Furthermore, German stocks were pushed up by the prospect of another Grand Coalition in Berlin. Emerging markets were more subdued and overall lost some ground in the absence of a catalyst for a rebound after the losses early in the week. Regional markets were mostly down, except Qatar where hopes of a solution to the crisis were rekindled by the invitation to the GCC Summit. In currency markets the dollar dominated on major crosses, while the GBP cheered the Brexit deal with a remarkable swing up. Oil prices were largely stable as the festive mood is sinking in. Gold prices fell towards the lower limit of the trading range that has prevailed for months. Some argue that the reason for the weakness is the existential challenge brought about by the Bitcoin that last week set an impressive series of records for reasons that nobody can convincingly explain.

MENA News:
will lower tariffs on cars imported from EU countries from Jan 2018, as part of the Egyptian-EU partnership agreement, reported the Al-Ahram Arabic news website, citing the Vice-Minister of Finance for Tax Policy.
Jordan and Saudi Arabia have signed an agreement to connect both countries’ electric grids, to help reduce the load of oscillations and also to boost reliance on renewable energy.
Real estate activity in Kuwait picked up, according to a National Bank of Kuwait report. Sales grew by 46% yoy to KWD 216.9mn in Oct, recording the highest monthly growth since Jun 2014.
Saudi Arabia’s public prosecutor disclosed that many persons detained in the anti-corruption raids have agreed to settlements to avoid prosecution. A total of 320 people had been subpoenaed to provide information about the alleged graft while 159 remain in detention. Reuters reported, citing a Saudi minister, that an estimated USD 50-100bn of seized funds could be diverted into economic development projects.
Saudi tourist visas can now be issued by travel agencies (in category D) for tourists and for educational or medical treatment purposes inside and outside the country, reported Sabq online newspaper.

UAE News:
The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) Distribution IPO priced each share at AED 2.50, and with 1.25bn shares (10% of its share capital) sold,the deal was valued at AED 3.1bn (USD 851mn). The stock, which will be listed on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX) from Dec 13, is the first IPO on the ADX in the last six years and the largest IPO in Abu Dhabi in a decade.
GEMS Education, which operates more than 250 schools across 14 countries, is planning a London IPO and is likely to have a market capitalisation of around USD 4.5-5bn.
The direct contribution of the travel and tourism sector to UAE’s GDP was AED 68.5bn – equivalent to 5.2% of the total GDP in 2016, according to the Chairman of the World Travel & Tourism Council.
Vehicle registration and testing as well as driver licensing fees have been increased in the UAE; the revised fees will be in addition to service charges and other related fees charged by the different emirates.

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