Gulf stock markets edge up in quiet trade, focus on smaller stocks

Most Gulf stock markets pushed up in quiet trade early Wednesday, buoyed by an overnight rise in oil prices and U.S. bourses, but much activity focused on second-tier stocks favoured by local speculators.

Saudi Arabia’s index gained 0.4 percent in the first 45 minutes of trade with publisher Saudi Research and Marketing jumping its 10 percent daily limit to 49.60 riyals, breaking out of a 36-45 riyal range in which it had been trapped since mid-February.

Dubai’s stock index rose 0.7 percent as Islamic mortgage provider Amlak added 2.1 percent. It reported that first-quarter profit jumped to 123 million dirhams ($33.5 million) from 6 million dirhams a year earlier; managing director Arif Alharmi predicted “modest growth for the remainder of the year”.

Gulf Navigation fell 1.9 percent after posting a 28 percent jump in consolidated profit to 6.3 million dirhams ($1.7 million), which had been expected.

Abu Dhabi’s index was flat. Real estate blue chip Aldar Properties gained 1.2 percent but Abu Dhabi National Energy Co dropped 5.3 percent in thin trade after reporting a first-quarter net loss of 608 million dirhams ($165.5 million) versus a year-earlier profit of 256 million dirhams.

Qatar added 0.3 percent as Dlala Brokerage continued its uptrend of the past month, rising 4.6 percent.

Source: Reuters