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Saudi index bucks Gulf gain trend

Regional bourses see intense buying on strong us data

Mixed results
Image Credit: AP
Investors at the Kuwait Stock Exchange. Kuwait’s telecom firm Zain climbed, but thebroader Kuwait index slipped on profit taking, ending 0.1 per cent lower.
Gulf News

Dubai: Middle East markets were rising yesterday, tracking gains in Saudi Arabia the day before as oil and global markets rose after better-than-expected US jobs data fuelled hopes of faster economic recovery.

News that nonfarm payrolls rose by 151,000 in October — more than double the expected increase — supported the gains seen in stock markets during the past two sessions, after the Federal Reserve announced a second round of monetary stimulus.

Saudi Arabia's index slipped yesterday as traders book profits following strong gains the day before. Bellwether Saudi Basic Industries (Sabic) drops 0.9 per cent after jumping 6.1 per cent on Saturday in reaction to crude prices hitting a six-month high.

"Traders want to get gains of dividends before year-end," says Hesham Tuffaha, Bakheet Investment Group head of research. "We are seeing some profit-taking today but its temporary." The petrochemical index dropped 0.4 per cent. The country's index slipped 0.04 per cent to 6,459 points.

In Qatar, Industries Qatar (IQ) reached a near 16-month high, helping Qatar's index higher. IQ gained 3.8 per cent, its highest close since June 15 last year.

"Petrochemical companies like IQ are reacting to oil prices," said Marwan Shurrab, vice president and chief trader at Gulfmena Alternative Investments.

"Saudi's performance on Saturday is encouraging investors."

Bank stocks also rose led by Doha Bank that gained 1.1 per cent. Qatar's benchmark rose 0.7 per cent ending at 7,959 points.

Kuwait's telecom firm Zain climbed 2.8 per cent on news that the company's board met yesterday to discuss opening the company's books for due diligence by etisalat, which said last week it would acquire 51 per cent of the issued share capital of Zain.

The broader Kuwait index however slipped on profit taking ending lower by 0.1 per cent.