Gulf stock markets surge in early trade, Saudi petchems lead

Gains for global equity and oil markets supported Gulf bourses in early trade Wednesday, with Riyadh’s index gaining one percent in the first hour as investors bought back shares which were sold off at the start of the week.

Saudi petrochemical shares were particularly strong, lifted by firm oil prices. Saudi Basic Industries was up 1.6 percent.

Saudi Cement rose 1.6 percent after the company said it had sold its 40-percent stake in a Kuwaiti cement company, Grup International Cement, for $6.59 million, and that would be reflected in its books in the second quarter.

Dallah Healthcare climbed 1.2 percent after the company announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding with Shibh AlJazira Real Estate Development to form a joint venture that would build and operate a hospital in Jeddah.

Dubai’s stock index added 1.1 percent after rising one percent on Tuesday. Trades were concentrated in real estate- related shares with Emaar Properties advancing 2.3 percent.

Real estate firms were also the most active in Abu Dhabi’s bourse with Aldar Properties adding 2.8 percent. The Abu Dhabi index was up 0.5 percent, heading for its third straight session of gains.

But the index has been in a downtrend since mid-April, one Dubai-based day trader said, noting that thin trading volumes would not sustain an extended rebound.

Blue chips helped support Qatar’s index, which was 0.6 percent higher. Oil drilling rig provider Gulf International Services rose 1.8 percent while telecommunications operators Vodafone Qatar and Ooredoo each gained more than 0.5 percent.

Source: Reuters