|12-25-2014, 11:02 PM||#1|
Middle East bourses ignore oil`s decline and continue rising
Stock markets in the Middle East extended gains on Thursday on low trading volumes, ignoring the retreat of global oil prices.
Dubai’s benchmark added 1.42%, with gains lead by heavyweights Dubai Islamic Bank and Arabtec.
Abu Dhabi and Qatar also rose, with Qatar’s Barwa Real Estate adding 1.2% in heavy trading.
Oman’s market rose 0.9%, boosted by some positive company news. Al Anwar Holdings surged its 10% daily limit after its board proposed a 10% share buyback.
Bank Dhofar edged higher after announcing plans to increase capital.
Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul rose for the fifth straight day on news the government plans to increase spending.
Investors have stopped or eased aggressive adjustments of positions regarding oil fluctuations, and trading volumes have declined. The stabilization in the stock market could also be due to many investors leaving markets, and it is possible that volatility could return after year-end. Brent crude oil prices fell 2.35% on Wednesday.
Saudi Arabia’s government announced on Thursday it will raise government spending by 0.6% to an all-time high in 2015, even with a large deficit as it will be covered with its massive fiscal reserves.
The budget was prepared “during challenging international economic and financial circumstances,” the ministry said. While the government continues to invest in areas such as education and health care, it will “exert more effort to limit current spending, especially on wages,” which make up about 50 percent of spending approved in the budget, it said.
Trading in the upcoming sessions and during next week might be affected by Saudi Arabia’s 2015 state budget announcement that is expected to show sustained spending, but considering the recent rally, markets could have already had that priced in.
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