Gulf stocks rise, Abu Dhabi bucks the trend

Saudi Arabia’s markets edged higher on Thursday as oil prices rose, while most Gulf stocks recovered from a recent sell-off.

Oil futures rose more than $1 a barrel on Thursday, recovering half the nearly 5 percent lost the day before, on expectations that lower prices may lead to production cuts.

Many investors took profits before the Eid Holiday, which begins on Sunday and lasts for a week in Saudi Arabia and at least three days in other Gulf countries.

In Saudi Arabia, the index rose 0.2 percent. Saudi Cement gained 7.3 percent, snapping a three-day losing streak. Samba Financial Group was up 1.4 percent.

Some disappointing earnings capped the gains. Saudi Investment Bank plunged 9.1 percent, making it the top loser on the index. The bank reported net losses on Wednesday of 284.7 million riyals ($75.90 million) in the second quarter, down from profit of 336.8 million riyals a year earlier.

CHUBB Arabia Cooperative Insurance dropped 3.9 percent after reporting second-quarter net profit fell nearly 63 percent before zakat.

Dubai’s index traded 0.2 percent higher. Emaar Properties gained 1 percent and its unit Emaar Malls rose 1.5 percent.

Budget airline Air Arabia gained 2.6 percent after it reported its second-quarter profit rose 75 percent as passenger demand increased.

Qatar’s index was up 0.6 percent, with most of its banks gaining. Industries Qatar added 1.9 percent and Qatar National Bank rose 1 percent.

Abu Dhabi’s index slid 0.3 percent. First Abu Dhabi fell 0.3 percent and International Holding Company lost 2.4 percent after reporting its second-quarter net profit dropped.

However, Dana Gas rose 1% after its first-half profit rose to $140 million from $24 million a year earlier . ($1 = 3.7508 riyals)

Source: Reuters