DUBAI May 19 Regional shares rallied on Sunday
with markets in Kuwait and Doha breaking key psychological
levels as gains in U.S. equities and oil prices spurred renewed
buying to top off an underlying bullish sentiment.
In Saudi Arabia, the index climbed 1 percent,
extending gains to hit a one-year high.
Bluechips led the rally with eight of the 10 largest firms
rising. Sentiment turned around from last week's selling, as
upbeat global markets buoyed hopes world demand will pick up.
Saudi petrochemicals index climbed 0.9 percent,
helped by gains in oil price - a proxy for global economic
activity and also demand for petrochemical products.
U.S. equities surged after consumer sentiment in the world's
largest economy hit an almost six-year high in early May.
In Qatar, the main benchmark climbed 1 percent to
make it the largest one-day gain in three weeks and finished
just above the psychologically important 9,000 level. The
market, up 7.8 percent year-to-date, is beginning to catch up
with regional peers as attractive valuations draw in investors.
Doha's market tumbled to a 2013 low in mid-April ahead of a
planned listing of sovereign assets under a new firm called Doha
Global Investment Co. Investors looking to subscribe in the
initial public offering cashed out of existing positions, but
delays on a May listing for the firm brought back buying
"It's a corrective move - there are some stocks undervalued
after the strong selling pressure due to the IPO news and people
are coming back to buy," said Yassir Mckee, wealth manager at Al
Rayan Financial Brokerage.
"The market momentum is picking up and we might stay over
the 9,000 mark this year but we will have to see corporate
earnings and performance of IPOs in coming months for further
In the UAE, Abu Dhabi developers Aldar Properties
and Sorouh Real Estate rallied 14.7 and 15 percent
respectively in heavy trading - hitting the maximum limit for
daily gains of 15 percent. Analysts said market talk the firms
may be awarded a mega government housing project ahead of their
planned merger in June triggered the buying.
Aldar and Sorouh declined to comment on the price movement.
Abu Dhabi's benchmark climbed 1.4 percent, while
Dubai's index advanced 2.5 percent - hitting fresh
"(There's) no looking back as regional markets, especially
the UAE and Kuwaiti markets, seem to be catching a second wind
in their momentum buying," investment firm Al Masah Capital said
in a note.
Investors tend to sell in May ahead of a slow summer and
travel abroad to escape the searing desert heat but, this year,
the trend seems to have broken as chasing gains takes the lead.
"Bears and short-sellers have no choice but to stay on the
sidelines for the time being although once the momentum slows,
there may be some interesting entry points," Al Masah Capital's
Kuwait's measure rose 1.5 percent to finish at 8,021
points - closing above the psychologically-important 8,000 level
for the first time since July 2009.
The next target is 8,438 points, the previous peak.
Companies have posted improved earnings in the last two
quarters with banks - which hold shares as collateral for loans
- profiting from the equities rally and improved economic
outlook as political unrest steadied.
"The overwhelming positive sentiment only seems to grow with
each trading session... we expect the market rally to sustain,"
said Fouad Darwish, head of brokerage at Global Investment
* The index rose 1 percent to 7,300 points.
* The index rose 1.5 percent to 8,021 points.
* The index climbed 2.5 percent to 2,352 points.
* The index gained 1.4 percent to 3,564 points.
* The index climbed 0.3 percent to 6,393 points.
* The benchmark advanced 1 percent to 9,009 points.
* The index gained 0.4 percent to 5,451 points.
* The measure climbed 0.9 percent to 1,158 points.