Most stock markets in the Gulf closed higher on Sunday in response to Friday’s rise in oil prices, with the Saudi index rising for a fourth consecutive session.
Oil prices, often a catalyst for the Gulf’s financial market, rebounded from a 4-month low, rising more than 4% on Friday, boosted by U.S. sanctions on some Russian oil shippers.
Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index gained 0.5%, while oil giant Saudi Aramco gained 0.3% and Saudi National Bank, the country’s largest lender, gained 1.5%.
In Qatar, the index closed up 0.2%, helped by a 1% rise in Qatar National Bank, the Gulf’s largest lender.
Dubai rose on expectations that interest rate hikes will end, Abu Dhabi fell
A softer tone on U.S. economic data last week fueled interest rate cut bets, pushing Treasury yields lower and stock markets higher. Monetary policy in the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is generally guided by the decisions of the US Federal Reserve, as most regional currencies are pegged to the dollar.
Outside the Gulf, Egypt’s blue-chip index rose 2.1%, supported by Commercial International Bank’s (CIB) 3.8% rise.
CIB, Egypt’s largest private bank, said on Thursday that it had secured a $150 million loan from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to support its capital base.
International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva told Reuters on Friday that the fund was “seriously considering” a possible increase to Egypt’s $3 billion loan program due to economic difficulties created by the Israel-Hamas war.
SAUDI ARABIA increased by 0.5 percent to 11,137
QATAR increased by 0.2% to 10,241
CORN increased by 2.1% to 24,900
BAHRAIN decreased by 0.1% to 1,944 points
OMAN increased by 0.1% to 4,622 points
KUWAIT remained stable at 7,294
news source (www.brecorder.com)