Mideast Stocks: Most Gulf exchanges track oil prices higher

Most stock markets in the Gulf ended higher on Thursday

  
An investor monitors a screen displaying stock information at the Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul) following the debut of Saudi Aramco's initial public offering (IPO) on the Riyadh's stock market, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, December 11, 2019.

An investor monitors a screen displaying stock information at the Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul) following the debut of Saudi Aramco's initial public offering (IPO) on the Riyadh's stock market, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, December 11, 2019.

REUTERS/Ahmed Yosri

Most stock markets in the Gulf ended higher on Thursday amid rising oil prices, with oil behemoth Saudi Aramco nearing a $2 trillion valuation.

Oil prices rose by about 1% after the International Energy Agency said that record natural gas prices would boost demand for oil and top oil producer Saudi Arabia dismissed calls for additional OPEC+ supply. 

Saudi Arabia's benchmark indexclosed 0.6% higher, with Yanbu National Petrochemicals Co jumping 7.1% and oil giant Saudi Aramco gaining 0.8%, nearing a $2 billion valuation.

The kingdom's energy index was up 1%.

In Abu Dhabi, the index added 0.3%, led by a 3.2% rise in Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank and a 0.3% increase in the country's largest lender, First Abu Dhabi Bank.

The UAE's Aldar Properties and ADQ have submitted a request to Egypt's Financial Regulatory Authority to acquire up to 90% of Egyptian property developer SODIC, they said on Tuesday.

Aldar, however, traded flat, while Egypt's SODIC inched up 0.1%.

Dubai's main share index finsihed flat, as gains in financial shares were offset by declines in property stocks.

Investors considered the risks of a U.S. reduction of its asset purchase programme on economic growth and equities. The main index could see additional price corrections next week if investors return to profit-taking, said Wael Makarem, senior market strategist at Exness.

Among the gainers, Mashreq Bank leapt 3.6% as the lender sought shareholder approval to increase share capital. 

The Qatari index gained 0.5%, with the Gulf's biggest lender, Qatar National Bank, advancing 1.1% and petrochemical maker Industries Qatar rising 0.7%.

Outside the Gulf, Egypt's blue-chip index climbed 1.1%, with top lender Commercial International Bank.

Egypt's liquefied natural gas exports are expected to rise in October from the previous month, Reuters reported on Wednesday, citing trading and industry sources. 

The most populous Arab country hopes its location and infrastructure will help it become a link for energy trading between the Middle East, Africa and Europe.

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


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