Most Gulf bourses gain; Abu Dhabi extends losses

2 minute read

A trader looks at the screens at Bahrain Bourse in Manama, Bahrain, February 7, 2018. REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com

Jan 10 (Reuters) - Most stock markets in the Gulf ended higher on Monday, with crude prices holding on to recent gains as supply disruptions in Kazakhstan and Libya offset worries stemming from the rapid global rise in Omicron infections.

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index (.TASI) advanced 0.9%, boosted by a 1.5% rise in Al Rajhi Bank (1120.SE) and a 4.6% jump in Saudi British Bank (1060.SE).

Oil prices, a key catalyst for the Gulf's financial markets, eased but held on to recent gains, having climbed 5% last week.

Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com

However, Saudi Enaya Cooperative Insurance Company (8311.SE) slid 6.4% after its shareholders rejected an offer to merge the company with Amana Cooperative Insurance Company (8310.SE).

Shares of Amana fell 6.1%.

Dubai's main share index (.DFMGI) added 0.3%, supported by a 14.3% surge in Amlak Finance (AMLK.DU).

The Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates said it expects the UAE economy to grow 4.2% in 2022, accelerating from last year's 2.1% growth. read more

The Qatari index (.QSI) ended 0.4% higher, with petrochemical maker Industries Qatar (IQCD.QA) gaining 0.6%.

The Gulf markets have seen their main indices going up mostly thanks to strong oil prices, said Wael Makarem, senior market strategist at Exness.

"However, they remain exposed to some pressures deriving from the concerns around the spread of omicron in the region," added Makarem.

In Abu Dhabi, the index (.FTFADGI) retreated 1%, extending losses for a fifth session, hit by a 2.5% fall in telecoms giant Etisalat (ETISALAT.AD).

Outside the Gulf, Egypt's blue-chip index (.EGX30) gained 0.4%, with investment bank EFG Hermes (HRHO.CA) advancing 2.9%.

Egypt's central bank said on Monday it had approved a set of rules under which it would be able to provide emergency liquidity to local lenders. read more

Egypt's banks are facing a deterioration in asset quality due to the economic impact of the pandemic. However, the economy eked out growth in 2020 and 2021, with the help of government support packages for the hardest-hit sectors.

Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com
Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.