Muscat – Positive sentiments across financial markets globally pushed the GCC market index to the highest level since November 2022 during the third week of February.

The MSCI GCC Index remained elevated by the end of the month and closed after receding marginally in the last week with gain of 4.2%, according to Kuwait-based Kamco Investment.

The positive performance came despite three out of seven stock exchanges in the GCC witnessing declines during February. The monthly gains also fully offset the declines during January resulting in a year-to-date gain of 3.3% for the MSCI GCC Index, Kamco Investment said in a research report on Sunday.

Saudi Arabia was the best performing market during February with a gain of 7.1% followed by Qatar and Dubai with gains of 3.8% and 3.4%, respectively. Kuwait’s market also showed a gain of 2.4%. On the decliner’s side, Bahrain reported the biggest decline during the month (-3.0%) followed by Abu Dhabi and Oman with relatively smaller declines.

In terms of year-to-date 2024 performance, Kuwait topped the GCC chart with a return of 9.1% followed by Dubai and Saudi Arabia with returns of 6.1% and 5.5%, respectively. On the other hand, the decline in the Abu Dhabi benchmark for the second consecutive month steepened the year-to-date fall to 3.4%.

The sector performance for the GCC showed a broad-based growth in all sectors with the insurance index at the top with a gain of 19.5% followed by consumer durable and apparel and healthcare indices with gains of 12.6% and 11.4%, respectively.

Large-cap sectors like energy and banks showed low-single digit gains of 3.5% and 3.8%, respectively. Healthcare and insurance also featured in the top five sectors by year-to-date performance with double-digit returns, according to the report.

In terms of trading activity, value traded during February declined month-on-month basis but remained elevated at the second-highest level in 21 months.

Muscat Stock Exchange

The Muscat Stock Exchange’s MSX30 Index registered a marginal decline of 0.2% during February to close the month at 4,554.8 points as compared to a gain of 1.1% in January. The index traded in a tight range during the month mainly led by minimal catalysts in the market, Kamco Investment said.

In terms of sectoral performance, two out of the three sector indices on the MSX recorded gains during February while one declined. The Financial Index recorded a decline of 3.7% during February mainly driven by a decline in shares of more than half of the companies in the sector.

In comparison, the Services Index of the Omani bourse registered a 10.4% monthly gain during February, while the Industrial Index witnessed a gain of 2.2%.

Trading activity on the Muscat Stock Exchange witnessed strong gains during February. Total volume of shares traded in the exchange surged by 132.7% to 860.3mn shares during February as compared to 369.6mn in January. Similarly, total value traded in the exchange increased by 51.4% to RO103.8mn against RO68.6mn in January.

© Apex Press and Publishing Provided by SyndiGate Media Inc. (