Mideast Stocks: Gulf bourses regain some ground after Omicron battering

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index advanced 1.7%

  

Major stock markets in the Gulf rebounded on Monday, in line with oil prices and global shares as investors settled in for a few weeks of uncertainty on whether the Omicron variant would really derail economic recoveries and the tightening plans of some central banks.

The new coronavirus variant of concern was found as far afield as Canada and Australia as more countries imposed travel restrictions to try to seal themselves off. 

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index advanced 1.7%, a day after marking its biggest single-day fall in nearly two years, with Al Rajhi Bank rising 2.2% and Saudi National Bank, the kingdom's biggest lender, putting on 1.5%.

Elsewhere, utility firm Saudi Electricitygained more than 1% after the cabinet approved carving out unit Saudi Power Procurement Co and transferring its ownership to the government. 

Saudi Tadawul Group, which operates the kingdom's stock exchange, raised 3.78 billion riyals ($1.01 billion) on Sunday via an initial public offering that was priced at the top of the indicated range and 121 times oversubscribed. 

Dubai's main share index leapt 2.8%, boosted by a 4.9% rise in blue-chip developer Emaar Properties and a 2.1% increase in sharia-compliant lender Dubai Islamic Bank.

Dubai, the travel and tourism hub of the Middle East, on Sunday slid 5.2%, its biggest fall since March 2020.

Oil prices, a key catalyst for the Gulf's financial markets, bounced more than $3 a barrel to recoup a chunk of Friday's shellacking. 

In Abu Dhabi, the index gained 1.2%, with Emirates Telecommunications Group jumping 3.1% and top lender First Abu Dhabi Bank adding 0.2%.

Amazon has partnered with Abu Dhabi Investment Office to establish a fulfilment centre by 2024 to be built in accordance with the company's carbon-reduction strategies, the Abu Dhabi government's media office said on Sunday. 

The Qatari index was up 0.5%, with almost all stocks on the index were in positive territory including petrochemical maker Industries Qatar.

($1 = 3.7513 riyals)

(Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu) ((AteeqUr.Shariff@thomsonreuters.com; +918061822788;))


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