Dubai shines as Gulf rally ex­tends

The Pak Banker - - MARKETS/SPORTS -

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.

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