Saudi, Egypt con­tinue pull-back, UAE down

MIDEAST STOCK MAR­KETS

Kuwait Times - - BUSINESS -

Stock mar­kets in Saudi Ara­bia and Egypt con­tin­ued pulling back yes­ter­day af­ter big ral­lies ear­lier this month, while some in­di­vid­ual stocks in the United Arab Emi­rates and Qatar moved sharply af­ter MSCI ad­justed its in­dexes.

The Saudi in­dex, which had jumped 22 per­cent be­tween mid-Oc­to­ber and Sun­day be­fore profit-tak­ing be­gan on Mon­day, dropped 2.1 per­cent to 6,493 points yes­ter­day in heavy trade, pulling back from tech­ni­cal re­sis­tance on the July peak of 6,703 points. How­ever, the in­dex ended well off the day’s low of 6,346 points. Among ma­jor losers, Na­tional Com­mer­cial Bank, the big­gest lender, dropped 4.5 per­cent. Petro­chem­i­cals held up rel­a­tively well.

A Saudi fund man­ager said the mar­ket had been sup­ported by lo­cal and govern­ment funds and when th­ese stopped buy­ing yes­ter­day, profit-tak­ing pres­sure quickly pushed stocks down.

Some in­vestors had been hop­ing that in­ter­na­tional in­dex com­piler MSCI would an­nounce, along with its in­dex re­vi­sions, that it was start­ing the process of up­grad­ing Saudi Ara­bia to emerg­ing mar­ket sta­tus, two fund man­agers said. There was dis­ap­point­ment when this did not hap­pen.

Riyad REIT, which jumped its 10 per­cent daily limit when it listed on Sun­day and did so again on Mon­day, rose a fur­ther 3.7 per­cent, but heavy trad­ing vol­ume showed some in­vestors were keen to take prof­its. Egypt’s blue chip in­dex dropped 0.5 per­cent, though it re­mains up more than 25 per­cent on hopes for in­flows of for­eign funds since the cen­tral bank floated the Egyp­tian pound on Nov. 3. Trad­ing vol­ume re­mained very heavy.

Nine of the most heav­ily traded stocks rose and some fi­nan­cial stocks con­tin­ued to surge, such as in­vest­ment bank EFG Her­mes which added 4.2 per­cent. The in­dex was mostly pulled back by a 1.5 per­cent de­cline in the big­gest lender, Com­mer­cial In­ter­na­tional Bank, down 1.5 per­cent, and a 1.7 per­cent loss by Global Tele­com. Ex­change data showed for­eign in­vestors re­main­ing net buy­ers of stocks, as they have been since the cur­rency float, though the net amount yes­ter­day was small, only about $5 mil­lion. — Reuters

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