DUBAI Nov 7 Saudi Arabia's bourse rose to a
five-year high on Thursday in a new trend which signals the
return of investor confidence in blue chips, while most other
regional markets also advanced.
After most Saudi banks and petrochemical firms posted
third-quarter earnings that beat analysts' forecasts, investors
are pricing in a continued trend for the next quarter's results.
"The market will be looking for Q4 earnings as an indicator
for where to go from here," said John Sfakianakis, chief
investment strategist at Saudi investment firm MASIC. "If we do
see an upward move before that, it could be an exaggeration."
Sfakianakis said the market was fairly valued at this point
and was likely to trade sideways for the next two weeks or until
there are fresh catalysts.
The index climbed 0.9 percent to 8,263 points, its
highest level since September 2008. It will have to post two
consecutive gains above the previous peak of 8,223 points - hit
in August this year - to confirm a breakout.
Banking shares index rose 1.1 percent and
petrochemical index climbed 0.6 percent. Together, the
two sectors make up 65 percent of the market's total value.
Al Rajhi Bank and Saudi Basic Industries Corp
(SABIC) added 1.7 and 0.7 percent respectively.
Saudi Telecom Co surged 6.4 percent to a
four-and-half-year high. The firm last month posted a surge in
earnings and beat forecasts.
In Egypt, the benchmark index rose 0.7 percent to a
new 33-month high.
Local sentiment was boosted the previous day because of
relative calm in the streets despite the start of ousted
President Mohamed Mursi's trial earlier this week.
Some investors are waiting for further clarity on political
outlook but many have increased positions in hopes that things
will improve. The interim government is working on a draft
constitution. It's approval will be a precursor to holding
parliamentary elections and restoring full civilian rule.
In Kuwait, the measure gained 0.3 percent to 7,940
points, hovering below the psychologically important 8,000 level
with investors hesitant as most companies are yet to post
"The market has been resilient but people are on the
sidelines because of lack of announcements," said Fouad Darwish,
head of brokerage at Global Investment House. "Lately, liquidity
has been an issue but we'll see an increase once the numbers are
The market is up 33.8 percent year-to-date, backed by
improved earnings and advancement on local infrastructure
projects. The earnings trend is expected to continue, Darwish
In Qatar, foreign institutional buying for a fourth straight
session helped the index climb 0.2 percent to new 10-week
"Qatar has done well in the past month - regional markets
are sitting at pretty substantial gains and if you were to
rotate to safer bets and high dividend-yielding stocks, it would
be in Qatar," said Amer Khan, fund manager, Shuaa Asset
Management. "I expect that to continue going into year-end."
The Gulf state's banks, which pay among the highest
dividends in the region, led gains. Qatar Commercial Bank
rose 1.2 percent and Masraf Al Rayan added
Elsewhere, UAE bourses were mixed. Dubai's benchmark
retreated 0.1 percent but is still up 78.7 percent
year-to-date. The market hit a five-year high last week and the
next expected catalyst is the announcement in late November of
whether Dubai's bid to host the World Expo 2020 is successful.
* The index rose 0.9 percent to 8,263 points.
* The index climbed 0.7 percent to 6,416 points.
* The index gained 0.2 percent to 9,976 points.
* The index slipped 0.1 percent to 2,898 points.
* The index gained 0.2 percent to 3,852 points.
* The index climbed 0.3 percent to 7,940 points.
* The index advanced 0.3 percent to 6,754 points.
* The index rose 0.9 percent to 1,206 points.