Saudi stocks close to technical breakout; UAE bourses firm in speculative early trade

Saudi Arabia’s stock market neared a bullish technical breakout during Tuesday’s early trade while speculative activity in small caps boosted United Arab Emirates markets, though other bourses in the Gulf were little changed.

The Saudi index climbed 0.7 percent in the first half-hour to 6,950 points, its highest level since Jan. 3. A close above major technical resistance on the April peak of 6,876 points would confirm a major double bottom formed by the January and October lows and pointing up to around 8,400 points in the long term.

As on Monday, the banking and petrochemical sectors moved little and much activity focused on smaller stocks.

Retailer Jarir Marketing, beaten down earlier this year by an economic slowdown due to low oil prices, jumped 5.2 percent. Insurance stocks favoured by local retail speculators also surged, with Al Rajhi Takaful up 7.8 percent.

Central bank data released on Monday suggested the government was bringing home large amounts of money from abroad and using it to pay debts to the private sector, which could boost economic growth in the fourth quarter.

Dubai’s index rose 1.0 percent as Dubai Investments surged 2.7 percent.

Construction firm Arabtec climbed 1.6 percent after it appointed Hamish Tyrwhitt as new chief executive; Tyrwhitt was chief executive of Australian contractor Leighton Holdings, since rebranded CIMIC Group, between 2011 and 2014.

Abu Dhabi’s index rose 0.5 percent, buoyed by banks, with Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank adding 2.1 percent. Qatar’s index was flat, however.

Source: Reuters