Gulf stock markets rose on Thursday after Brent crude oil jumped more than 5 percent to about $40 a barrel, while hopes for economic benefits from a visit by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman supported that market.
The Tadawul All-Share Index gained 0.7 percent, led higher by petrochemical firms that were lifted by the oil price rise. Saudi Basic Industries Corp. rose 1 percent and Saudi Kayan climbed by the same amount after announcing the start of commercial operations at a new butanol plant.
Telecoms company Mobily gained 2.9 percent to SR31.60. An NCB Capital research note described the Saudi telecoms sector as “a safe haven from the impact of oil volatility and lower government spending,” though it gave a “neutral” rating to Mobily, with a target of SR31.90.
Yanbu Cement edged up by 0.2 percent after quarterly net profit dropped 11 percent year on year to SR184 million ($50.1 million), roughly in line with expectations.
Dubai’s index was up by 1 percent as all ten of the most heavily traded stocks gained. Builder Drake & Scull, which has been rebounding from a record low in recent weeks, was the most heavily traded and jumped by 11.1 percent.
Telecoms company du, however, slid by 3.1 percent as it went ex-dividend.
Abu Dhabi added 1.2 percent as Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank bounced from technical support on its March lows of 6.32-6.35 dirhams, climbing 2.5 percent to AED6.48.
Qatar gained 1.3 percent, helped by Qatar National Bank’s (QNB) 1.4 percent rise after posting slightly better than expected first-quarter earnings.
Gulf Warehousing again traded heavily after bourse data showed foreign ownership in the company had increased to 26.2 percent. The stock closed 2.3 percent lower on Thursday.
Egypt’s index recovered from early losses to edge into positive territory by the close, up 0.3 percent. Commercial International Bank rose 1.1 percent, but fallers narrowly outnumbered gainers by 78 to 74.
The visit by Saudi Arabia’s King Salman is expected to provide Egypt with a fresh inflow of dollars, with the king due to sign a $20 billion deal to finance Egypt’s petroleum needs for the next five years and a $1.5 billion agreement to develop the Sinai region.
However, this aid looks likely to keep Egypt afloat rather than solve its economic problems. A monthly purchasing managers’ survey published this week showed business activity shrank for the sixth straight month in March, with declines in new orders and output causing the biggest contraction in the index for more than two and a half years
Source: Arab News