Gulf stocks slightly up in lethargic trade

Stock markets in the Gulf inched up in early trade Tuesday after oil prices and Asian bourses made modest recoveries but trading volumes were thin.

Dubai’s index climbed 0.1 percent with gainers outnumbering losers 13 to five. Trade mainly focused on speculative shares favoured by short-term local traders; builder Arabtec rose 0.7 percent and GFH Financial added 1.7 percent.

But courier Aramex, which had surged 2.3 percent on Monday, retreated 1.7 percent.

Qatar’s index gained 0.2 percent. The bourse has been supported over the last several weeks by FTSE’s plan to include some major stocks in its secondary emerging market index; an announcement of its picks will come after the close on Wednesday.

Islamic lender Masraf Al Rayan, which could make FTSE’s list, rose 1.1 percent and another potential beneficiary, telecommunications operator Ooredoo, added 0.6 percent.

Saudi Arabia’s index nudged up 0.3 percent after 40 minutes of trade, with just under half of traded shares rising.

Al Tayyar Travel Group rose 0.6 percent. The company offers services to Islamic pilgrims for the haj, which starts on Sep. 9; as many as 1.5 million external and domestic pilgrims are expected to perform the haj in Mecca this year, roughly the same number as last year, Saudi media reported.

Source: Reuters