Gulf, Egypt inch up as vol­ume shrinks

MIDEAST STOCK MAR­KETS

Kuwait Times - - BUSINESS -

Stock mar­kets in the Gulf posted small gains yes­ter­day af­ter crude oil prices climbed back to­wards 17-month highs at the end of last week, but trad­ing vol­umes shrank across the re­gion. For­eign buy­ers con­tin­ued to bid up shares in Egypt. Brent fu­tures rose 2.2 per­cent to set­tle at $55.21 a bar­rel on Fri­day af­ter Gold­man Sachs boosted its price fore­cast for 2017 and pro­duc­ers showed signs of ad­her­ing to a global deal to re­duce out­put.

Saudi Ara­bian petro­chem­i­cal shares were bid up yes­ter­day with all 14 listed pro­duc­ers ad­vanc­ing, pulling the main Saudi stock in­dex 0.7 per­cent higher. Mid-sized pro­ducer Sa­hara Petro­chem­i­cal was the top per­former, jump­ing 7.1 per­cent. Saudi Cable Co rose 2.5 per­cent af­ter say­ing its Turk­ish sub­sidiary had won a $50 mil­lion or­der, with the fi­nan­cial im­pact to start ap­pear­ing by the end of the sec­ond quar­ter next year.

Com­modi­ties trans­porta­tion com­pany Na­tional Ship­ping Co (Bahri) climbed 1.5 per­cent af­ter it an­nounced its board had pro­posed a cash div­i­dend of 2.5 riyals per share for 2016, in line with 2015. Its div­i­dend yield is at 6.0 per­cent, ac­cord­ing to Thom­son Reuters data. Dubai’s main in­dex closed al­most flat as trad­ing vol­ume fell to the low­est in five weeks, sug­gest­ing that many in­sti­tu­tional traders, which played a ma­jor role last week, were largely ab­sent yes­ter­day.

Emaar Malls Group re­bounded 2.7 per­cent but builder Drake & Scull, the most heav­ily traded share, slipped 0.4 per­cent. Blue chips helped carry Abu Dhabi’s in­dex 0.8 per­cent higher. Dana Gas rose 1.9 per­cent and First Gulf Bank climbed 2.0 per­cent. Stock mar­kets in Bahrain and Qatar were closed for na­tional hol­i­days.

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