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Oil drives rise in Gulf stock markets

Major Gulf bourses closed higher on Wednesday, with a rise in oil prices driving the Saudi index up more than one per cent, while geopolitical tensions weighed on sentiment in Egypt.

Oil prices rose 1.4 per cent on a drop in US oil inventories and concern over tighter supplies from Russia and Libya. Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index gained 1.2 per cent with state-run oil giant Saudi Aramco up 2.1 per cent.

“The Saudi stock market opened positively while the country‚Äôs economic outlook looks brighter thanks to the higher oil prices,” Daniel Takieddine of BDSwiss said.

  • Saudi Arabia up 1.2% to 13,669
  • Abu Dhabi up 0.9% to 9,988
  • Dubai flat at 3,648
  • Qatar flat at 14,016
  • Egypt down 1.7% to 10,445
  • Bahrain up 0.1% to 2,095
  • Oman flat at 4,264
  • Kuwait down 0.1% to 9,171

Shares in Saudi Home Loans closed at 26 riyals on their trading debut, up from the initial public offering (IPO) at 20 riyals per share. Communication services company Solutions by STC rose three per cent a day after it posted higher quarterly profit. Dubai’s main share index pared early gains to end virtually flat.

Amlak Finance was the top gainer, up 15 per cent after the company’s shareholders approved its continuing operations in an annual vote. Abu Dhabi’s index rose by 0.8 per cent while sentiment remained muted in Qatar with the index closing flat. Shares in Qatar Navigation rose nearly three per cent after the maritime company posted higher quarterly profit. The stock was the top gainer on the Qatari index.

Outside the Gulf Egypt’s blue-chip index shed 1.7 per cent, hurt by tensions in the east of the country. Shares in Telecom Egypt dropped 6.4 per cent and Rameda Pharmaceutical lost 1.9 per cent after they began trading ex-dividend.