|01-18-2015, 01:17 PM||#1|
Gulf equities soar on higher oil prices, corporate earnings start rolling in
Stock markets in the Middle East got off to a strong start for the week on Sunday, with sentiment boosted by gains in oil prices.
Oil prices managed to end higher last week, marking the first weekly after seven weeks of losses, with Brent oil above the $50-a-barrel mark.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) released a report saying that there are indicators of reduced production in some areas of the world due to lower oil prices, including North America.
Markets have suffered from a heavy panic selloff on the back of slumping oil prices, but investors bet that stabilization in oil prices will result in sustained gains in Gulf equities.
The Dubai Financial Market added 1.6%, with help from top gainers Arabtec, Emaar Properties and Dubai Islamic Bank.
Shares in Arabtec added to last week’s sharp gains after a board meeting that discussed its projects, although no details were given in the company’s statement.
The board "expressed its great confidence in the executive management which performs its responsibilities with ultimate professionalism,” and also added that the company`s restructuring is going well and pledged to continue diversifying into profitable projects.
A near 7% surge in National Bank of Abu Dhabi shares pushed the Abu Dhabi stock market 2.14% higher.
Kuwait and Muscat were also higher. Qatar opened 0.6% higher. As of 06:30 GMT
Shares in Oman Cement came under pressure after the company reported a 35.8% decline in fourth-quarter net income on Thursday that was also less than analysts’ forecasts.
Petrochemicals shares in Saudi Arabia should be in focus after SABIC, the kingdom’s largest listed firm, reported a 29% decline in quarterly net profit that sharply missed estimates by Reuters.
Aldrees Petroleum and Transport Services Co. shares may receive support after the company reported better-than-estimated fourth-quarter net profit and dividend.
Saudi construction firm Abdullah Al-Khodari and Sons reported a five-fold jump in net profit for the fourth quarter, and announced the expansion of its project pipeline.
Saudi insurance should be in focus after Arabian Shield Cooperative Insurance said fourth-quarter net profit jumped 228%.
Most companies in the region are being supported by strong economic fundamentals, and despite the worrisome outlook for the oil industry, equities in the Gulf will be notably directed by the fourth-quarter earnings season, while less affected by oil price fluctuations.
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