Saudi, Qatar stocks gain af­ter oil deal

Kuwait Times - - BUSINESS -

Stock mar­kets in Saudi Ara­bia and Qatar posted broad-based gains yes­ter­day af­ter OPEC and non-OPEC oil pro­duc­ers a day ear­lier reached their first deal since 2001 to cur­tail oil out­put jointly in a drive to prop up prices. It is not clear whether oil prices can rise much fur­ther in re­sponse to the deal, and many fund man­agers think Saudi petro­chem­i­cal shares are to a large ex­tent now fairly val­ued af­ter their re­bound in the past six weeks.

Nev­er­the­less, the oil pro­duc­ers’ deal sup­ported fresh buy­ing of stocks and the main Saudi index added 1.1 per­cent to 7,198 points, its high­est close this year, in heavy trade.

The Saudi petro­chem­i­cal index surged 2.4 per­cent as higher oil prices could boost profit mar­gins. Saudi In­ter­na­tional Petro­chem­i­cal Co (Sipchem) gained 4.0 per­cent af­ter say­ing an af­fil­i­ate had signed a con­tract with South Korea’s eTEC E&C for work cost­ing 542.6 mil­lion riyals ($144.6 mil­lion) to raise the ef­fi­ciency of op­er­a­tions at its methanol plant in Jubail.

Construction firm Kho­dari jumped by its 10 per­cent daily limit in very heavy trade to 12.95 riyals, near­ing ma­jor tech­ni­cal re­sis­tance on its May peak of 13.10 riyals.

The stock has been buoyed in re­cent days by signs that the govern­ment is mak­ing long-de­layed pay­ments on its debts to the construction sec­tor, which could help Kho­dari di­rectly and also in­di­rectly by im­prov­ing liq­uid­ity in the econ­omy and help­ing some stalled projects go ahead. Higher oil prices may make it eas­ier for the govern­ment to find money for those pay­ments.

Some in­surance sec­tor stocks favoured by lo­cal re­tail spec­u­la­tors also surged, with Wafa In­surance up 6.4 per­cent. In Qatar, the index added 1.3 per­cent at 10,188 points, climb­ing above tech­ni­cal re­sis­tance on the 200day av­er­age for the first time since early Novem­ber, al­though trad­ing vol­ume was modest. Me­saieed Petro­chem­i­cal gained 3.7 per­cent and oil drilling rig provider Gulf In­ter­na­tional Ser­vices surged 2.5 per­cent, while Qatar Com­mer­cial Bank jumped 4.1 per­cent. Bourses in the United Arab Emi­rates, Bahrain and Egypt were shut to mark the birth­day of Prophet Mo­hammed (PBUH).

* The index rose 1.1 per­cent to 7,198 points.

SAUDI ARA­BIA

* The index added 1.3 per­cent to 10,188 points.

QATAR

* The index rose 0.4 per­cent to 5,612 points.

KUWAIT OMAN

* The index gained 0.5 per­cent to 5,696 points.

—AP

ATHENS: Greece’s Prime Min­is­ter Alexis Tsipras ad­dresses law­mak­ers dur­ing a par­lia­men­tary ses­sion in Athens on Saturday.

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