Gulf stocks rebound as U.S.-China trade war simmers

Gulf stocks rebounded on Wednesday, mostly on back of their financial shares, after U.S. President Donald Trump dismissed worries of a prolonged trade dispute with Beijing and China’s central bank stepped in to stabilise the yuan.

The offshore yuan pulled back from an all-time low on Tuesday after Beijing appeared to take steps to prevent the currency from weakening further, following a sharp drop that prompted the U.S. government to declare China was manipulating its currency.

Dubai’s index traded 1.3 percent higher in a boost from real estate stocks which all rose. Emaar Properties increased 1.7 percent and its unit Emaar Malls gained 3.1 percent.

Most Gulf markets had been subdued in the past days amid muted trading before the Eid holiday starting at the end of this week.

Qatar’s index opened 1.7 percent higher after six days of straight losses as most of the companies traded higher. The Gulf’s biggest lender, Qatar National Bank, increased 2.2 percent while petrochemical maker Industries Qatar advanced 2.4 percent.

In Saudi, the index rose 0.7 percent with Al Rajhi Bank adding 1.1 percent, while United Cooperative Assurance was up 3.5 percent after it reported a 136 percent surge in its second quarter net profit before zakat.

Gulf General Insurance hiked 3.6 percent as the insurer turned to profit from year ago losses.

In Abu Dhabi, the index gained 1.1 percent snapping a six-session losing streak. Market heavyweights First Abu Dhabi Bank and Emirates Telecommunications Group rose 1.5 percent and 1.9 percent respectively.

Aldar Properties advanced a further 1.3 percent, ahead of a board meeting later on Wednesday at which it will discuss the company’s second-quarter financial performance. EFG Hermes forecasts a 7 percent rise in profit.

Source: Reuters