Gulf bourses edge up, Egypt’s rally re­verses

MIDEAST STOCK MAR­KETS

Kuwait Times - - BUSINESS -

Gulf stock mar­kets edged up in quiet trade yes­ter­day, en­cour­aged by strength in emerg­ing mar­kets gen­er­ally, but Egypt’s in­dex re­versed the trend higher it had en­joyed since the float of the Egyp­tian pound three weeks ago.

The Saudi stock in­dex rose 0.7 per­cent to 6,844 points, though it stopped short of tech­ni­cal re­sis­tance on its April peak of 6,876 points, which it had tested and failed to break on Thurs­day. Trad­ing vol­ume fell sharply. The petro­chem­i­cal in­dex un­der­per­formed, edg­ing down 0.1 per­cent, af­ter oil prices fell sharply at the end of last week. Saudi Kayan fell back 1.8 per­cent. But Alawwal Bank jumped 1.6 per­cent af­ter chang­ing its name to Alawwal from Saudi Hol­landi Bank in a re­brand­ing ex­er­cise that co­in­cides with Royal Bank of Scot­land seek­ing a buyer for its 40 per­cent stake.

Much ac­tiv­ity fo­cused on sec­ond- and third-tier stocks favoured by lo­cal re­tail spec­u­la­tors, such as Saudi Fish­eries , which surged 3.9 per­cent. In Dubai, the in­dex climbed 0.4 per­cent on the back of an 11.4 per­cent leap to 0.93 dirham by Union Prop­er­ties, the most ac­tive stock, in its heav­i­est trade since June 2015. It rose above this year’s pre­vi­ous high of 0.91 dirham, which had been hit in March.

Abu Dhabi’s in­dex gained 0.6 per­cent, aided by a 2.0 per­cent rise in telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions blue chip Eti­salat. Qatar’s in­dex edged up 0.2 per­cent on the back of a 2.4 per­cent surge by Barwa Real Es­tate. The Egyp­tian in­dex dropped 1.8 per­cent to 11,146 points, con­firm­ing a bear­ish en­gulf­ing pat­tern on the daily can­dle­stick chart - a clas­sic tech­ni­cal sign of the re­ver­sal of an up­trend.

The pull-back sug­gested the mar­ket’s dra­matic bounce in re­sponse to the Nov. 3 cur­rency float, which boosted the in­dex by as much as 37 per­cent to last week’s peak, might now be end­ing as in­vestors took prof­its and fo­cused on Egypt’s still-dif­fi­cult eco­nomic en­vi­ron­ment. — Reuters

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