Saudi leads major Gulf markets higher
Major stock markets in the Gulf rose in early trade on Sunday amid strong oil prices, with the Saudi index outperforming the region as the country eased coronavirus curbs.
The kingdom is rolling back COVID-19 restrictions from Oct. 17 in response to a sharp drop in daily infections and a considerable development in vaccinations.
The authorities also cancelled curbs on fully vaccinated people at closed venues, restaurants and cinemas, and on transportation.
Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index (.TASI) gained 0.5%, with Al Rajhi Bank (1120.SE) rising 0.5%, while Jabal Omar Development (4250.SE), one of Saudi Arabia’s largest-listed property developers, advanced 2.7%.
Saudi non-oil exports were up 37% to 125.3 billion riyals ($33.4 million) in the first half of 2021, state news agency SPA reported on Friday.
Oil prices settled at a three-year high above $85 a barrel on Friday, boosted by forecasts of a supply deficit in the next few months as the easing of coronavirus-related travel restrictions spurs demand.
In Abu Dhabi, the index (.ADI) added 0.3%, supported by a 2.3% rise in Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB.AD) and a 0.2% increase in the country’s largest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB.AD).
Conglomerate International Holding Co (IHC) (IHC.AD) plans to list subsidiary Multiply, a holding company that invests in tech-focused businesses, on Abu Dhabi’s main stock market this year, IHC’s chief executive said.
Shares of IHC were flat.
Dubai’s main share index (.DFMGI) rose 0.3%, with blue-chip developer Emaar Properties (EMAR.DU) up 0.5% and its unit Emaar Malls (EMAA.DU) climbing 2.1%.
UAE Energy Minister Suhail al-Mazrouei said the oil-rich Gulf is continuing to invest in the energy sector to meet growing demand and ensure stability in global markets.
The Qatari benchmark (.QSI) was up 0.3%, led by a 0.7% rise in Qatar National Bank (QNBK.QA) and a 0.4% gain in Vodafone Qatar (VFQS.QA) as the telecom firm reported a strong nine-month profit.