Most major Gulf markets gained on Wednesday as crude prices rose on hopes of an effective COVID-19 vaccine, while Kuwait and Qatar markets lost steam after a string of solid gains.
Benchmark Brent oil rose to a more than two-month high above $45 a barrel on hopes of an effective COVID-19 vaccine and an industry report showing U.S. crude inventories fell more than expected. [O/R]
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Crude stockpiles fell by 5.1 million barrels last week to about 482 million barrels, industry group data showed on Tuesday, compared with analysts’ expectations in a Reuters poll for a reduction of 913,000 barrels. [API/S]
Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index .TASI ended 0.5% higher, its sixth successive session of gains. Saudi Telecom 7010 gained 2.3%, while oil behemoth and index heavyweight Aramco 2222.SE added 0.4%.
Dubai’s main share index .DFMGI closed 0.8% higher to finish with gains for a sixth straight session.
Lender Emirates NBD Bank ENBD.DU and real estate firm Emaar Malls EMAA.DU led the gains, adding 2% and 2.4%, respectively.
Emaar Malls had gained at least 14% on Tuesday after sounding optimistic about the immediate future of Dubai retail industry for the 2020 remainder.
Dubai’s largest listed developer Emaar Properties EMAR.DU reported a near halving in nine-month profit post-trading hours, but its chairman said he was “cautiously optimistic” about the rest of the year. The stock had closed flat.
The Abu Dhabi index .ADI finished up 1.3%, boosted by First Abu Dhabi Bank FAB.AD and Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank ADIB.AD, which gained 2.8% and 2.5%, respectively.
In Qatar, the index .QSI closed 0.1% lower, with Qatar Industries IQCD.QA shedding about 3%.
Kuwait’s blue-chip index .BKP lost 1.6%, logging in losses for the first time in five sessions.
MSCI reclassified Kuwait stock indexes to emerging markets status from frontier, a move that could funnel at least $2 billion in passive investment flows.
Outside the Gulf, Egypt’s main index .EGX30 declined 0.7%, with tobacco firm Eastern Co EAST.CA shedding about 13%.
SAUDI ARABIA .TASI rose 0.5% to 8,450
ABU DHABI .ADI added 1.3% to 4,832
DUBAI .DFMGI up 0.8% to 2,283
QATAR .QSI rose 0.1% to 10,120
EGYPT .EGX30 down 0.7% to 10,998
BAHRAIN .BAX fell 0.2% to 1,449
OMAN .MSI rose 0.1% to 3,612
KUWAIT .BKP lost 1.6% to 6,233
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