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Abu Dhabi records strongest GDP growth rate in six years

Daniel Richards - MENA Economist
Published Date: 25 November 2022

 

  • The Abu Dhabi Government Media Office announced yesterday that the emirate recorded real GDP growth of 11.2% y/y in H1, boosted by an 11.7% expansion in the second quarter which was the strongest growth rate in six years. Mining and quarrying activities, which encompasses the oil & gas sector, accounted for just shy of half of GDP. Other key sectors include manufacturing, which accounted for 8.1% of output and expanded 10.2% y/y, while construction made up 7.7% and grew 6.9%. The strongest growth rate was recorded by the health and social work sector which expanded 29.9%.
  • The Turkish central bank cut its benchmark one-week repo rate by 150bps yesterday, as had been widely expected after signals given following the previous MPC. This takes the benchmark rate down to 9.00% and is likely to be the end of this cutting cycle by the bank. CPI inflation in Turkey is still very high at 85% but is expected to slow sharply through 2023 on the back of base effects and a far more stable currency. Meanwhile, the FT reported that Saudi Arabia was poised to deposit USD 5bn at the TCMB in a move that would help shore up the country’s reserves which have been depleted this year propping up the lira.
  • Following on from the PMI survey released the previous day there was a further upside surprise in German data yesterday as the November business climate IFO survey came in at 86.3, compared with the projected 85.0. This was also an improvement on the (modestly upwardly revised) 84.5 recorded in October and suggests that recession worries might be starting to wane and that the contraction might not be so great as worried as the prospect of energy rationing recedes. All the same, the German economy is still likely in recession in the final quarter, with the OECD forecasting a contraction in 2023. Breaking the survey down, the headline improvement was driven by much better expectations as respondents saw an easier path ahead on the back of the improving energy outlook. However, the current assessment remained weak and was at 93.1 lower than both the October print (94.2) and expectations (93.9).

Key Economic Data and Events

  • 11:00 Germany GfK consumer confidence index, December. Forecast: -39.6

Fixed Income

  • US Treasury markets were closed overnight for the US Thanksgiving holiday. Treasuries are being slightly bid in early trade today with the 10yr yield down about 4bps at 3.667%.
  • European bond markets closed generally higher with the 10yr bund yield down 8bps to 1.844%. UK gilts, however, settled weaker with yields up 2bps at 3.027%.
  • National Bank of Oman priced a USD 134m perp at 6.75%.

FX

  • The US dollar closed weaker against most peer currencies overnight although moves were relatively contained by the standard of the last few days. EURUSD added 0.13% to 1.041 while GBPUSD added 0.5% to 1.2113. USDJPY showed some of the biggest moves, down 0.8% at 138.74.
  • Commodity currencies also rallied against the dollar with a 0.13% drop in USDCAD to 1.337 while AUDUSD fell 0.5% to 0.6764 and NZDUSD dropped 0.34% to 0.6264.

Equities

  • Asian markets started the day off on the front foot yesterday, taking their lead from the previous day’s reaction to the FOMC minutes. The Hang Seng added 0.8% and the Nikkei 1.0%, although the Shanghai Composite dropped -0.3%.
  • There were further gains in Europe, where the FTSE 100 closed flat and the CAC and the DAX added 0.4% and 0.8% respectively. US markets were closed for the Thanksgiving holiday.  
  • There was little determined movement in either direction from local markets. The DFM dropped -0.03% while the ADX gained 0.06%.
  • The Tadawul closed down -0.2%. However, the IPO for Americana restaurants, which controls KFC and Pizza Hut in Saudi Arabia, raised USD 1.8bn with orders worth USD 105bn.

Commodities

  • Oil markets remain bound to the cut and thrust of EU negotiations over the Russian oil price cap. As the decision on what level to apply needs to be unanimous, talks have been extended to bridge the gap between those that favour a harder line on Russia and those that are more accommodative. Russia for its part has signalled a change in stance, saying that it would look at what numbers are to be used before making a final decision.
  • Brent futures settled relatively unchanged overnight at USD 83.54/b while WTI didn’t settle as a result of the US public holiday. It is trading higher at USD 78.28/b in early trading today.

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