Gulf stock markets may rise on hopes for Doha oil meeting

Oil producers are close to reaching a deal to freeze output at a meeting in Doha Sunday, sources told Reuters, which may encourage investors in the Gulf to take long positions in stocks.

The freeze may do little to boost oil prices, but could increase confidence that they have bottomed out – a positive signal for Gulf economies.

Saudi Arabia’s stock index, which rose 4.0 percent last week on the back of better-than-expected corporate earnings, may therefore continue its uptrend, especially among petrochemical shares, which account for one-fifth of the total value of the market.

Al Rajhi, the largest listed bank, may also boost the bourse after reporting a 32.8 percent jump in first-quarter earnings to 2.02 billion riyals ($538.7 million), topping analysts’ expectations for 1.84 billion riyals. Shares in the Islamic lender rose 7.6 percent last week.

Source: Reuters