Gulf bourses edge higher after oil firms

 10 Apr 2016 - 11:58

Gulf bourses edge higher after oil firms

Dubai: A rebound in oil prices to more than $41 a barrel last week helped to lift major Gulf stock markets in early trade on Sunday.

The petrochemicals industry was an obvious beneficiary, with a 2.6 percent gain for Saudi Basic Industries helping to lift the kingdom's petrochemicals index by 2.1 percent while the market's main index rose 1.2 percent in early trade.

Almarai, the Gulf's largest dairy producer, was another gainer, rising 1.8 percent after reporting a slightly better than expected rise in first-quarter net profit in challenging market conditions.

Jarir Marketing was in negative territory, however. One of Saudi Arabia's largest retailers by market value, was down 0.4 percent at 114.50 riyals after reporting first-quarter net income fell short of analyst expectations with a drop of nearly 30 percent.

Analysts at NCB Capital rated the stock "overweight", saying the Jarir's long-term outlook remains strong.

Construction and enginerring contractor Alkhodari was up 1.2 percent after it announced in a bourse statement that it had booked a 15 million riyal ($4 million) profit from the sale of some of its equipment last week. The revenue will be reflected in the second quarter.

Elsewhere in the Gulf, Dubai's index rose 1.6 percent, with small and mid-cap stocks the most actively traded. Kuwait-based Hits Telecom Holding surged 7.1 percent.

Real estate-related stocks were the backbone of an Abu Dhabi index up 0.5 percent, with Eshraq Properties climbing by 7.6 percent ahead of this week's Cityscape exhibition, at which a number of degvelopers are expected to announce new projects.

Energy stocks also performed well. Dana Gas and Abu Dhabi National Energy (TAQA) jumped by 7.4 percent and 3.9 percent respectively. ($1 = 3.7501 riyals)