Stock markets in the Gulf ended higher on Monday, tracking global shares and oil prices higher, with the Abu Dhabi index outperforming the region ahead of its biggest-ever initial public offering (IPO) Borouge.
MSCI's benchmark for global stocks turned positive on the month on bets of a possible slowdown in U.S. monetary tightening and after an easing of COVID restrictions in China.
In Abu Dhabi, the index advanced 2.4%, with First Abu Dhabi Bank gaining 4.5% and Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank adding 4.6%. The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) is selling 10% of its petrochemicals joint venture with Austria's Borealis, known as Borouge, its biggest-ever IPO. Last week, Borouge said it set the offer price for its IPO, which shows it could raise about $2 billion in the deal, and secured seven cornerstone investors.
The Abu Dhabi stock market continued to extend towards its peak as the strong oil prices provided significant support alongside the positive sentiment among investors, said Wael Makarem, senior market strategist at Exness.
Saudi Arabia's benchmark index closed 1.7% higher, led by a 4.3% jump in Al Rajhi Bank and a 4.4% increase in Riyad Bank. Crude prices, a key catalyst for the Gulf's financial market, climbed above $120 a barrel on Monday, hitting their highest in more than two months, as traders waited to see whether a European Union meeting would reach an agreement on banning Russian oil imports.
Dubai's main share index concluded 1.5% higher, with blue-chip developer Emaar Properties climbing 3.5%. Dubai house prices are set to mostly rise steadily over the next two years, driven by demand from foreign investors, according to a Reuters poll of analysts, who cautioned that higher interest rates and lack of affordable homes could curb activity.
The Qatari index edged up 0.3%, with petrochemical maker Industries Qatar adding 1.5% Outside the Gulf, Egypt's blue-chip index rose 0.2%, ending four days of losses, helped by a 3.3% rise in Talaat Mostafa Group Holding.
(Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; Editing by Angus MacSwan)