MENA region bourses may start 2018 on positive note

Middle Eastern stock markets may generally start 2018 on a positive note because of strong global markets and expectations that economic growth in the region will pick up this year.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan is up 0.9 percent on Tuesday morning while Brent oil has put on another 22 cents to $67.09 a barrel.

Meanwhile, a Reuters poll of leading Middle East fund managers, published on Sunday, found 54 percent expect to raise their allocations to regional equities over the next three months and none to reduce them, the most positive balance since August.

Saudi Arabia was the only major regional market to trade on Monday, with its index dropping 0.5 percent after the government raised domestic gasoline prices.

In Dubai, shares in Gulf Navigation could see some pressure on Tuesday after the company said it planned to increase its issued and paid-up capital by 448.3 million dirhams ($122.2 million) to 1 billion dirhams by issuing new shares in a rights issue.

But Dubai’s stock index, last at 3,370 points, is technically at least short-term bullish, having posted a positive 14-day momentum divergence, a classic sign of the reversal of a downtrend, at last week’s six-month low.

Source: Reuters