Mideast Stocks: Saudi index gains on petrochemicals boost; other major markets ease

Most major stock markets in the Gulf ended lower on Thursday

  
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 major stock markets in the Gulf ended lower on Thursday, weighed by financial shares, while the Saudi index was lifted by shares of petrochemical companies.

Saudi Arabia's benchmark indexfinished 0.2% higher, with Sahara International Petrochemical Company 2310.SE rising over 3% and Saudi Basic Industries 2010.SE gaining 0.7%.

Goldman Sachs expects an oil supply agreement between Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to be a bullish catalyst for crude prices over coming months. 

The kingdom and the UAE have reached a compromise over OPEC+ policy, Reuters reported on Wednesday, citing an OPEC+ source, a move that should unlock a deal to supply more crude to a tight oil market.

"New talks between OPEC members suggest possible modifications to the supply agreement and changes in the volumes they will put on the market," said Daniel Takieddine, senior market analyst at FXPrimus.

"The results will affect the energy sector in the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) stock markets."

Elsewhere, Arriyadh Development 4150.SE jumped more than 5% after reporting a sharp rise in its quarterly net profit. 

The property developer also proposed a dividend of one riyal per share for the first half of 2021. 

The Qatari index retreated 0.7%, dragged down by a 1.6% slide in Qatar National Bank, the Gulf's largest lender, and a 1.2% drop in petrochemical firm Industries Qatar.

Dubai's main share index fell 0.4%, weighed by a 1.3% fall in blue-chip developer Emaar Properties and a 0.6% decrease in sharia-compliant lender Dubai Islamic Bank .

In Abu Dhabi, the index edged down 0.2%, hit by a 0.6% fall in First Abu Dhabi Bank and a 0.7% decline in conglomerate International Holding (IHC).

Outside the Gulf, Egypt's blue-chip index lost 0.4%, with Fawry for Banking Technology and Electronics dropping 1.9%.

(Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel) ((AteeqUr.Shariff@thomsonreuters.com; +918061822788;))


More From Equities