Saudi Arabia's stock market outperformed its Gulf peers on Tuesday, as the region continued its rebound from the recent selloff, although the markets were cautious about inflation and global economic growth.
The benchmark index in the kingdom advanced 1.8%, led by a 2.1% rise in Riyad Bank and a 2% increase in Makkah Construction and Development Co. The Saudi market extended gains, strengthened by the rise in oil prices in the last couple of days, said Daniel Takieddine, CEO MENA BDSwiss. "However, the market could start correcting again as crude prices could return to their downward trend."
Crude prices, a key catalyst for the Gulf's financial market, fell 2% after soaring by more than $5 a barrel in the previous session, weighed by fears that an economic slowdown will hit oil demand, but tight supplies and a weaker dollar curbed some losses.
Dubai's main share index gained 0.5%, driven by a 6.9% jump in Emirates Integrated Telecommunications. According to Takieddine, the market was supported by the government's initiatives and solid local fundamentals that could spur economic development.
The governments of France and the United Arab Emirates signed on Monday a strategic agreement to cooperate in the energy sector, the French government said.
In Abu Dhabi, equities added 0.5%, with the country's largest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank.
The Qatari index, which commenced trading at 1240 local time due to a technical glitch, was up 0.3%, helped by a 2.5% gain in Qatar Islamic Bank.
Outside the Gulf, Egypt's blue-chip index climbed 1.9%, boosted by a 2.5% leap in top lender Commercial International Bank.
Recently, the Egyptian bourse hit its lowest in nearly six years as the country has come under pressure because of a sharp slide in foreign portfolio investor holdings and rising costs for key commodity imports, especially since Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
(Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)