Most of the Gulf stock markets closed higher on Monday, supported by the rise in oil prices, which was boosted by the expected strength of demand amid expectations of an economic recovery in China, the largest importer in the world, while Abu Dhabi bucked the trend. Outside the Gulf region, the Egyptian blue-chip index rose 0.4 percent, continuing its rise since Wednesday.
Crude oil prices, a major catalyst for Gulf financial markets, extended the gains made last week, Monday, with Brent crude rising 88 cents, or 1 percent, to $88.51 a barrel, the highest level since November 18.
The main index in Saudi Arabia rose 0.4 percent, supported by gains in the banking and energy sectors, as oil giant Aramco rose 1.7 percent and Al-Rajhi Bank, the world’s largest Islamic bank by market value, rose 1 percent.
The Qatari index rose 1.1 percent, continuing its rise since Thursday, with all stocks listed on it remaining in the positive zone.
The largest lender in the Gulf, Qatar National Bank, also extended its gains, and its share rose 3.3 percent, and Qatar International Islamic Bank rose 2.3 percent.
But in Abu Dhabi, the index fell 0.3 percent, extending losses for four consecutive sessions. First Abu Dhabi Bank lost 2 percent, and Alfa Abu Dhabi Holding extended its losses since Wednesday, down 0.9 percent.
The main index in Dubai fell 0.1 percent, affected by the decline in the industrial and real estate sectors, as the share of the Emirates Central Cooling Systems Company fell 2.5 percent, and the share of Salik, the exclusive operator of the traffic toll gates system for the road network in the emirate, fell 2.6 percent.
Kuwait Stock Exchange
Kuwait Stock Exchange indices closed on the rise, on Monday, despite the intensification of the political crisis between the government and parliament, which reached its peak in the past hours. Over the past two days, local media reported that the government is insisting on withdrawing two interpellations submitted by two MPs against two government ministers, as well as withdrawing bills submitted by parliamentarians that the government considers financially costly, which the MPs rejected.
The premier market index closed up 1.36 percent, the main market index 50 increased by 0.42 percent, the main market index increased by 0.44 percent, and the general market index increased by 1.18 percent.
Kuwait Finance House (KFH) rose 2.4 percent, National Bank of Kuwait 0.7 percent and Kuwait International Bank 3.5 percent.
Shares of Agility Public Warehousing rose 3.9 percent, Integrated Holdings rose 3.3 percent, and National Investments rose 2.9 percent.
The trading volume amounted to 279 million shares, with a value of 80.4 million dinars.
Farah Murad, Market Analyst at XTB MENA said: “Gulf stock markets moved in different directions while China was watched by investors and energy markets were uncertain. Oil prices may come under some pressure after the start of a long holiday in China. Its effects on investors and consumers will be monitored as well as on the infection rates of coronavirus in the country.”
She added, “The Dubai stock market may witness some price corrections if traders continue to lock in their gains. However, the market may find some support if the company’s profits rise more than expected.
She explained: «The Qatari stock market may witness further improvements if natural gas prices recover more, which had been in a state of decline for months, which increased pressure on Qatari stocks. The main index may extend its gains this week if conditions remain favourable.
She concluded by saying: “The Saudi stock market may return to the downside after weeks of gains. Uncertainty in the oil markets may keep the main index under pressure.”