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Gulf Crisis: No winner as assets converge on oil

Gulf dispute remains in stalemate after Qatar denied the charges &rejected the Saudi bloc's demands

Agencies 

Gulf crisis
The oil market will need more crude from Libya and Nigeria as it re-balances at a faster rate in the second half after a slow start, Opec Secretary-General Mohammad Barkindo said on Sunday | Photo: istock

Investors aren’t taking sides in the biggest political crisis in the Gulf in decades because their focus has already returned to

Seven weeks after led a coalition of Arab states in cutting ties with over allegations that it supports terrorism, holders of both countries’ and bonds are paying almost identical risk premiums. Their five-year credit default swaps converged for the first time in two years, are valued at an average 13.8 times’ projected over the next 12 months, and their bonds traded level on Friday at 3.39 per cent.

The Gulf dispute remains in stalemate after denied the charges and rejected the Saudi bloc’s demands, which include rolling back ties with Iran and shutting the Al Jazeera news channel. Meanwhile, the feud is taking a back seat to for investors, said analysts including Saad Siddiqui at Chase & Co. The price of crude is languishing under $50 a barrel, far below the level many need to balance their budgets.

 The market will need more crude from Libya and Nigeria as it re-balances at a faster rate in the second half after a slow start, Opec Secretary-General Mohammad Barkindo said on Sunday.

Compliance with production cuts by members of the Opec is “excellent,” Barkindo said in St Petersburg, Russia. Libya and Nigeria are exempt from the cuts and have been boosting production, leading to speculation about whether Opec will seek to cap their output to help reduce a global glut.

is “still the biggest macro-driver, it’s the tide which lifts or sinks all boats,” said Siddiqui, JPMorgan’s London-based director of emerging-market local strategy. As long as the situation remains frozen and without additional measures from the Saudi-led alliance, “attention goes back to market fundamentals,” he said.

The crisis has come at a time of economic headwinds in the region. reported its first quarterly economic contraction in at least six years and a sixth month of deflation, while the — a member of the Saudi-led bloc — is dealing with slowing growth amid lower revenue.

In Qatar, the disruption has weighed on and driven consumer inflation higher, though it is also relatively well-placed to weather the The world’s largest exporter of does most of its trade with -- transactions unaffected by the Saudi-led action.

“Given the high correlation of the Gulf macro story to prices, one always has to look at the region from a top-down point of view," said Simon Quijano-Evans, an emerging-market strategist at London-based Legal & General Investment Management Ltd., which oversees about $1.2 trillion of Even so, local investors will be key to how asset prices develop because they tend to increase exposure when the geopolitical situation deteriorates, he said.

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