Abu Dhabi and Dubai stocks ended the week on a high note with high-profile stocks leading, while petrochemical stocks pushed down the Saudi index ahead of an OPEC+ announcement on oil output guidance for the weeks ahead.

Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange gained 0.5 per cent to 5,942 points in what was its fifth rise in as many days, which helped the index close out the best week in months with a 3.8 per cent gain. Gulf Pharmaceutical Industries advanced a further 2.5 per cent after posting massive gains in recent trades, which followed its signing of a deal to manufacture COVID-19 vaccine.

Others to make gains were International Holding, Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank and Dana Gas, but the biggest single boost came in from Etisalat, which firmed up 1.9 per cent to Dh22.1. The telco has been one of the top gainers on the index so far this year as it continued to command investor confidence in its future and which was backed by robust earnings and one of the best dividend payouts.

Sterling run

Dubai Financial Market ended the day higher by 0.3 per cent at 2,558 points marking its fourth advance in the week and its best since January 2. The index closed the week up 2.5 per cent. Real estate stocks led the gains for most of the week and outperformed on Thursday as well, with Emaar Properties, Emaar Development and Deyaar Development advancing.

Qatar Exchange was up 0.5 per cent to 10,457 points supported by its blue-chips. The telco Ooredoo pulled out a 2.5 per cent gain and topped the list after launching a 10-year bond sale to raise $1 billion to take advantage of market liquidity and low interest rates. Kuwait's premier index ended the day higher by 0.7 per cent with banks leading.

Saudi stocks could turn volatile
Saudi Arabia's benchmark index has been largely flat, trading near 9,924.50 during Thursday morning trading session, according to Kaia Parv of FXPrimus.

"The index opened with a huge gap of 177 basis points on Wednesday and closed 2.83 per cent up after Saudi Crown Prince announced a private sector investment programme of SR5 trillion, led by Saudi Aramco and SABIC earlier this week.

"We see resistance near 9,935.00, while support is near 9,815.80 and 9,677.53."

Trending lower

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index inched 0.1 per cent lower by 9,896 points with petrochemicals weighing on trade as investors waited for some direction from OPEC+. Saudi Aramco, Sabic and Advanced Petrochemical headed lower with Najran Cement joining the selloff as it traded ex-dividend. Saudi Arabian Cooperative Insurance dropped 1.1 per cent after its board proposed no dividend handouts for the last.

Oman's 30-company index underperformed regional peers, down by more than 1 per cent to 3,667 points. The market underwent intense selling pressure from Oman Telecommunication, Bank Dhofar and Oman International and Development, which plunged on their ex-dividend dates.