Saudi Arabia's stock market outperformed Gulf peers on Thursday, extending rebound for a second session, but posted a monthly loss following a recent slide.
On Monday, the Saudi bourse hit its lowest in over 9 months, as fears grew that central banks racing to raise interest rates to tame inflation will drag the global economy into recession.
Saudi Arabia's benchmark index finished 2.1% higher, buoyed by a 2.7% rise in oil giant Saudi Aramco and a 1.8% increase in Al Rajhi Bank. But the rise could be temporary if oil prices record more losses, according to Daniel Takieddine, CEO MENA BDSwiss.
Crude prices firmed, erasing earlier losses, on indications that OPEC+ might cut output, though a stronger dollar and weak economic outlook kept a lid on gains. However, the index registered a monthly loss of over 7%, its biggest monthly drop since June.
In Abu Dhabi, the index added 0.4%, supported by 1.8% increase in the United Arab Emirates' biggest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank.
The Qatari index closed 1.2%, with Qatar National Bank, the Gulf's biggest lender, jumping 1.2%. The Qatari stock market continued to rebound with natural gas prices stabilizing to a certain extent, said Takieddine. "The market could also find support in positive local fundamentals."
Dubai's main share index gave up early gains to close 0.8% lower, hit by a 3.4% fall in blue-chip developer Emaar Properties. On the other hand, the emirate's toll-road operator Salik settled 11% higher, after rising as 20% above its listing price of 2 dirhams per share on its market debut.
Outside the Gulf, Egypt's blue-chip index climbed 1.3%, snapping six sessions of losses.
(Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru, Editing by Nick Zieminski)