Gulf markets to benefit from increasing oil prices
Most of the Gulf’s stock markets ended high on Sunday which resulted from Friday’s rise in oil prices, with the Saudi index rising for a fourth consecutive session.
Oil prices – often a catalyst for the Gulf’s financial markets – jumped more than four percent on Friday, recovering from a four-month low, with U.S. sanctions on some Russian oil shippers lending support.
Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index TASI gained 0.5 percent, with oil giant Saudi Aramco (2222. SE) gaining 0.3 percent.
Moreover, the country’s biggest lender Saudi National Bank (1180. SE) advanced by 1.5 percent.
In Qatar, the index (. QSI) closed 0.2 percent higher, helped by a one percent rise in the Gulf’s biggest lender Qatar National Bank (QNBK.QA).
A softer tone to U.S. economic data last week has fueled rate-cuts bets, pushing Treasury earnings down and lifting equity markets.
Monetary policy in the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is usually directed by the decisions of the U.S. Federal Reserve, as most regional currencies are fixed to the dollar.
Outside the Gulf, Egypt’s blue-chip index ( EGX30) rose by 2.1 percent, lifted by a 3.8 percent jump in Commercial International Bank (CIB) (COMI.CA).
CIB, Egypt’s biggest private bank, has taken a $150 million loan from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to shore up its capital base, it said in a statement on Thursday.
Kristalina Georgieva, International Monetary Fund Managing Director, reported to Reuters on Friday the fund was “seriously considering” a possible rise of Egypt’s $three billion loan programme due to economic difficulties posed by the Israeli war on Palestine.