Gulf stock markets edge up at early trade on strong oil price

Gulf stock markets edged up in early trade Thursday after Brent crude oil futures rose 4.6 percent on Wednesday to near their highest levels this year.

The Saudi stock index gained 0.5 percent in the first 15 minutes, with Najran Cement 3002.SE> climbing 2.9 percent in unusually heavy trade after it said it planned to pay a 0.60 riyal per share dividend for the first half of 2016.

Saudi Printing and Packaging, which had risen 1.3 percent on Wednesday in the heaviest trade since it listed in July 2007, jumped a further 4.2 percent.

Amana Insurance tumbled 7.2 percent, however, after it reported a net operating deficit of 4.2 million riyals ($1.1 million) for the month of April.

Dubai’s index gained 0.6 percent with Air Arabia up 2.3 percent. It has been firm since it reported early this week a 42.2 percent jump in first-quarter net profit.

Abu Dhabi’s index added 0.5 percent. International Fish Farming, which usually barely trades, surged 4.0 percent in its heaviest volume since June 2014.

Qatar climbed 0.4 percent as drilling rig provider Gulf International Services, the most heavily traded stock, gained 1.8 percent.

Source: Reuters