© Reuters. A screen displays shares on the Saudi Stock Exchange in Riyadh, in a photo from the Reuters archive.
From Muhammad Munther Hussain
(Reuters) – Most of the Gulf stock markets closed higher on Monday, supported by a rally that was boosted by expected strong demand amid expectations of an economic recovery in China, the world’s largest importer, while Abu Dhabi bucked the trend.
Crude oil prices, a major catalyst for Gulf financial markets, extended last week’s gains on Monday, rising 88 cents, or 1 percent, to 88.51 a barrel by 1247 GMT, the highest level since November 18.
The main index in Saudi Arabia rose 0.4 percent, supported by gains in the banking and energy sectors, as the share of oil giant Aramco (TADAWUL:) rose 1.7 percent, and the share of Al-Rajhi Bank, the largest Islamic bank in the world by market value, rose 1 percent.
The Qatari index rose 1.1 percent, continuing its rise since Thursday, with all stocks listed on it remaining in the positive zone.--
The largest lender in the Gulf, Qatar National Bank, also extended its gains, and its share rose 3.3 percent, and Qatar International Islamic Bank rose 2.3 percent.-
But in Abu Dhabi, the index fell 0.3 percent, extending losses for four consecutive sessions. The largest lender in the country, First Abu Dhabi Bank, lost 2%, and Alfa Abu Dhabi Holding extended losses since Wednesday, down 0.9%.
The main index in Dubai fell 0.1 percent, affected by the decline in the industrial and real estate sectors, as the share of the Emirates Central Cooling Systems Company fell 2.5 percent, and the share of Salik, the exclusive operator of the traffic toll gates system for the road network in the emirate, fell 2.6 percent.
Outside the Gulf region, the blue-chip index rose 0.4 percent, continuing its rise since Wednesday.
(Prepared by Amira Zahran for the Arabic Bulletin – Edited by Hassan Ammar)