Mideast Stocks: Gulf bourses rebound as calm returns after Omicron battering

Stock markets in the Gulf rebounded on Monday

A trader talks on the phone during the opening of the Dubai stock market June 26, 2016. Image for illustrative purpose

A trader talks on the phone during the opening of the Dubai stock market June 26, 2016. Image for illustrative purpose

REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah

Stock markets in the Gulf rebounded on Monday, mirroring oil prices and global shares as investors waited for more details to assess the severity of the Omicron coronavirus variant on the world economy.

European shares and U.S. stock futures firmed, oil prices bounced more than $3 a barrel, while safe-haven bonds lost ground as markets latched on to hopes the new variant of concern would prove to be "mild". 

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index rose 0.2%, with Al Rajhi Bank rising 0.9% and SABIC Agri-Nutrients Co advancing 4.5%.

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 oversubscribed 121 times. 

Saudi energy minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman al-Saud said on Monday he was not worried about the Omicron coronavirus variant, Asharq Business reported, after crude prices plunged last week on fears the new variant would hammer demand. 

Meanwhile, an OPEC+ technical meeting was postponed to Wednesday and an OPEC+ ministerial committee meeting moved to Thursday "to buy time to review things" in light of the new variant development. 

Dubai's main share index closed 1.8% higher, buoyed by a 3.6% leap in blue-chip developer Emaar Properties and a 2.1% rise 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.

In Abu Dhabi, the index concluded 2.2%, hitting a record high, boosted by a 5.8% jump in telecoms firm Etisalat.

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 benchmark edged 0.1% higher, helped by a 1.3% rise in petrochemical maker Industries Qatar.

Outside the Gulf, Egypt's blue-chip index fell 0.6%, dragged down by a 10.1% plunge in tobacco monopoly Eastern Company as the stock traded ex-dividend.

 ($1 = 3.7513 riyals)

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

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