Mideast Stocks: Most Gulf markets firm on higher oil prices

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index added 0.2%

  
A Saudi trader observes the stock market on monitors at Falcom stock exchange agency in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia February 7, 2018.

A Saudi trader observes the stock market on monitors at Falcom stock exchange agency in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia February 7, 2018.

REUTERS/Faisal Al Nasser

Most stock markets in the Gulf ended higher on Tuesday, mirroring a rise in oil prices, with the Abu Dhabi index settling at a record high.

Brent crude futures rose 23 cents, or 0.3%, to $74.73 a barrel by 1150 GMT as investors bet tight supply and rising vaccination rates will help offset any impact on demand from surging COVID-19 cases worldwide.

GCC markets have recovered as oil prices stabilized following clearer expectations on global demand, FXPRIMUS market analyst Daniel Takieddine said.

"The spread of the delta variant remains an ongoing concern however and could still affect how markets view economic development in the short term."

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index added 0.2%, with Saudi Telecom Co rising 1.9% and Saudi National Bank, the kingdom's largest lender, closing 0.9% higher.

Elsewhere, Yanbu Cement Co rose more than 3% after its board proposed a cash dividend of 1.25 riyals per share. 

Dubai's main share index edged up 0.1%, helped by a 1.1% increase in top lender Emirates NBD ahead of its earnings announcement.

Blue-chip developer Emaar Properties added 0.5%.

In Abu Dhabi, the index ended flat to stay at a record high

Dana Gas advanced 2%, extending gains for a third consecutive session, after the energy firm won an arbitration on the sale of assets in Egypt. 

The company said in April that IPR Wastani Petroleum Ltd, a member of the IPR Energy Group, had requested arbitration after Dana Gas cancelled a sale of oil and gas assets in Egypt.

The Qatari index eased 0.1 due to a 0.8% fall in Commercial Bank and a 1.5% decline in telecoms firm Ooredoo, ahead of its board meeting on Wednesday to discuss first-half earnings.

Outside the Gulf, Egypt's blue-chip index gained 0.6%, with Fawry for Banking Technology and Electronic rising 3.4%.

Egypt's economy will grow 5% in the fiscal year that ends in June next year, a Reuters survey predicted on Monday, unchanged from analysts' expectations in a similar poll three months ago and slightly below the government's target of 5.4%.

(Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva) ((AteeqUr.Shariff@thomsonreuters.com; +918061822788;))


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