Gulf bourses may be firm at early trade as company earnings top forecasts

Gulf bourses may remain generally firm Thursday as companies’ first-quarter results continue to come in above analysts’ forecasts and as the Brent oil price stays above $43 a barrel.

Saudi Arabia’s index, last at 6,442 points, faces technical resistance on the March peak of 6,525 points.

Yanbu (Yansab), the second petrochemical firm to announce results this season, reported a 41 percent jump in net profit to 401.9 million riyals ($107.21 million), beating analysts’ average forecast of 310.8 million riyals. Yansab’s shares rose 3.5 percent on Wednesday in anticipation of the results.

Meanwhile Saudi banks are continuing to beat forecasts; Riyad Bank posted a 0.2 percent rise in quarterly profit to 1.17 billion riyals against analysts’ forecast of 962.34 million riyals. Its shares have been flat since the start of the week.

Muscat’s index, which has been in an uptrend since the beginning of the month, may get a boost after the top two Omani telecommunication sfirms posted net income above forecasts.

Oman Telecommunications (Omantel) reported a 0.6 percent rise in first-quarter net profit to 34.8 million rials ($90.6 million). Analysts at EFG Hermes and Gulf Baader Capital Markets had forecast 29.37 million rials and 27.9 million rials.

Ooredoo Oman made a net profit of 12.6 million rials, a 17.8 percent rise; Gulf Baader had forecast 10.9 million rials.

Dubai’s index, last at 3,501 points, a five-month high, is technically bullish after closing above its 200-day average on Tuesday for the first time since August.

Source: Reuters