Stock markets in the Gulf posted weekly gains on Thursday as they extended their rebound following a recent selloff triggered by the prospect of aggressive global interest rate hikes to tame inflation.
Dubai's main share index gained 1.4%, led by a 3.8% jump in sharia-compliant lender Dubai Islamic Bank and a 2% increase in top lender Emirates NBD Bank. Among other gainers, Dubai Electricity and Water closed 2% higher, a day after the utility firm announced plans to invest 40 billion dirhams ($10.89 billion) in electricity and water projects in Dubai over next five years.
Investors returned to the market, while the earnings season brings good performances, said Wael Makarem senior market strategist at Exness. "However, the market remains exposed to further declines due to the global economic conditions."
In Abu Dhabi, the index advanced 2.1%, buoyed by a 3.3% leap in the United Arab Emirates biggest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank. The United Arab Emirates' economy grew by an estimated 8.2% in the first quarter, buoyed by higher oil production, the central bank said on Wednesday.
Saudi Arabia's benchmark index closed 1% higher, logging its first weekly gain in three weeks.
In Qatar, the index finished 1.4% higher, with Qatar Islamic Bank rising 3.1%. However, Masraf Al Rayan dropped 0.6%, after the shaira-compliant lender reported a fall in first-half profit. Separately, Qatar Airways placed an order for 25 Boeing 737 MAX 10 jets after cliffhanger negotiations at the Farnborough Airshow on Thursday, firming up a deal whose fate had been in the balance for months and bringing orders for the model this week to 125.
Outside the Gulf, Egypt's blue-chip index was up 1%, posting its first weekly gain in five weeks. Egypt has approved pre-listing procedures for petrol stations operator Wataniya and water company Safi, which are both currently owned by the Egyptian army, as a first step towards stock market listings, a cabinet statement said on Wednesday.
(Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru)