Higher oil prices boost Gulf shares in early trade

Gains for global equity and oil markets supported Gulf bourses in early trade on Wednesday, with Riyadh’s index gaining one per cent in the first hour as investors bought back shares which were sold off at the start of the week.

Saudi petrochemical shares were particularly strong, lifted by firm oil prices. Saudi Basic Industries was up 1.6 per cent.

Saudi Cement rose 1.6 per cent after the company said it had sold its 40-per cent stake in a Kuwaiti cement company, Grup International Cement, for US$6.59 million, and that would be reflected in its books in the second quarter.

Dallah Healthcare climbed 1.2 per cent after the company announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding with Shibh AlJazira Real Estate Development to form a joint venture that would build and operate a hospital in Jeddah.

Dubai’s stock index added 1.1 per cent after rising one per cent on Tuesday. Trades were concentrated in real estate- related shares with Emaar Properties advancing 2.3 per cent.

Real estate firms were also the most active in Abu Dhabi’s bourse with Aldar Properties adding 2.8 per cent. The Abu Dhabi index was up 0.5 per cent, heading for its third straight session of gains.

But the index has been in a downtrend since mid-April, one Dubai-based day trader said, noting that thin trading volumes would not sustain an extended rebound.

Blue chips helped support Qatar’s index, which was 0.6 per cent higher. Oil drilling rig provider Gulf International Services rose 1.8 per cent while telecommunications operators Vodafone Qatar and Ooredoo each gained more than 0.5 per cent.


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