Dubai shines as Gulf rally extends
Gulf stocks rally led by Dubai reduced January losses on strong oil prices and analysts predicted positive February.
All seven exchanges in the GCC nations witnessed gains in their respective indices ranging from 1.32 per cent to five per cent but still finished the first month of the year sharply lower.
The Dubai Financial Market General Index jumped 4.92 per cent to close the month just under the 3,000-point mark, but remained 4.86 per cent below last year's close.
The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange benchmark index increased by 3.68 per cent in the last session of the month to rise above the 4,000-point level but ended January down 5.9 per cent.
The Saudi Arabia's Tadawul Index was up by 1.98 per cent to 5,996.57 points, reducing its monthly losses to 11.1 per cent. The Qatar Exchange added 2.26 per cent to finish the day on 9,481.30 points. The exchange closed the month 9.1 per cent lower. The Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE) Index increased 2.08 per cent on Sunday but remained 8.9 per cent below the 2015 finish.
The Muscat Securities Exchange inched up 3.25 per cent to cut the month's losses to 4.2 per cent while the Bahrain Bourse added 1.32 per cent only and closed the month 2.4 per cent down.
"We were sitting on the sidelines for most of January," Muhammad Shabbir, the Dubai-based head of equities and funds at Rasmala Investment Bank told Bloomberg. "We're looking to enter the market again this week after the losses we've seen this month. February could well shape up as a positive month," Shabbir said.
Equities across emerging markets rallied last week as risk appetite strengthened on bets the Federal Reserve will refrain from raising interest rates soon and as oil jumped on speculation an output cut may be on the way.
Brent crude for March settlement, which expired last week, rose 2.5 per cent to $34.74 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange on Friday. The more-active April contract increased to $35.99. The Bloomberg GCC 200 Index, a gauge of 200 of the region's biggest companies, added 2.9 per cent, gaining for a third day.