Mideast Stocks: Abu Dhabi outperforms Gulf markets; Saudi retreats

Most stock markets in the Gulf ended higher on Monday

  
Investors speak in front of a screen displaying stock information at the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange June 25, 2014. Image used for illustrative purpose.

Investors speak in front of a screen displaying stock information at the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange June 25, 2014. Image used for illustrative purpose.

REUTERS/Stringer

Most stock markets in the Gulf ended higher on Monday, mirroring strong oil prices, although the Saudi index snapped a four-day winning streak on profit taking.

Oil prices hit multi-year highs buoyed by recovering demand and high natural gas and coal prices encouraging users to switch to fuel oil and diesel for power generation. 

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index eased 0.1%, hit by a 1.5% fall in petrochemical maker Saudi Basic Industries and a 4.8% decline in Yanbu National Petrochemicals Co (Yansab).

Yansab reported a quarterly net profit of 179.8 million riyals ($47.94 million), down from 195.6 million riyals a year earlier. 

Investors tried to secure their gains after the main index surpassed its 2008 peak briefly yesterday, said Wael Makarem senior market strategist at Exness.

"The Saudi market could see some price corrections as investors take their profits before rejoining the uptrend."

In Abu Dhabi, the index added 0.7%, buoyed by a 1.9% rise in the country's largest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank and a 0.5% increase in Emirates Telecommunications Group.

Dubai's main share index gained 0.5%, with blue-chip developer Emaar Properties closing 1% higher and diversified investment group Dubai Investments advancing 2.4%.

The United Arab Emirates on Sunday recorded a drop in daily COVID-19 cases to below 100 for the first time since the start of the outbreak last year as it hosts a huge world fair to which it hopes to attract millions of visits. 

The Qatari benchmark .QSI gave up early gains to finish 0.1% lower, driven down by a 0.9% drop in Qatar National Bank.

However, the index's losses were limited by gains at sharia-compliant lender Masraf Al Rayan, which climbed 1.7% ahead of its earnings announcement.

Egypt's blue-chip index concluded 1.1% higher, extending gains for a ninth session, with top lender Commercial International Bank climbing 1.9%.

Egypt will mandate that public sector employees must either be vaccinated against COVID-19 or take a weekly coronavirus test to be allowed to work in government buildings after Nov. 15, a cabinet statement said on Sunday. 

** Bahrain was closed for a public holiday

($1 = 3.7507 riyals)

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


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