Gulf markets headed up with Abu Dhabi leading from the front, again taking their upbeat sentiments from global markets and encouraging economic news from the US.
Saudi Arabia's benchmark index closed Tuesday 0.2 per cent higher at 9,989 points. Advanced Petrochemical jumped 4.2 per cent after its first-quarter profits soared by more than 64 per cent to SR171 million, while there was an 18 per cent rise in sales to SR632 million. The firm attributed the higher top- and bottom-line to a 36 per cent increase in polypropylene sales prices coupled with a surge in share of profit from an investment in South Korean venture SK Advanced.
Methanol Chemicals advanced 3.3 per cent after turning a profit in the first three months of the year. It reported SR29.9 million in profits versus a loss of SR28.6 million period last year. The robust earnings come on the back of improved operational performance at most of its plants leading to sales volumes rising by nearly a quarter.
Doubling of value
Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange gained 1 per cent to 6,081 points, further boosting its position as the top performing GCC stock market. The advances were led once again by International Holding, which had another double-digit spike to extend the winning streak for a 10th day. The rally helped the stock more than double its value for the year as it closed at Dh84.5 per share.
Dubai Financial Market gave up most of the early gains and closed flat. Advances for Takaful House, Air Arabia and Gulf Navigation were eclipsed by weaknesses in Dubai Islamic Bank, Emaar Development and Amlak Finance. But the biggest loser was Emirates Refreshments, which shed 10 per cent, the maximum drop permitted for a stock in a session.
It was its eighth consecutive decline after a notable ride up earlier in the year following an expansion and other key announcements. But it began to head down as visible follow-up actions were missing.
Gains ahead of results
Oman's 30-compnay index ended 0.5 per cent up with industrial and banking stocks outperforming. Al Anwar Ceramic jumped 5.8 per cent as the profit-making firm is set to announce its first-quarter results next week. Among lenders, HSBC Oman Bank, Muscat Finance and National Bank of Bahrain ended higher.
Qatar Exchange traded 0.2 per cent up at 10,395 points, pairing losses earlier in the session. Banks rebounded with Qatar Commercial Bank, Qatar Islamic Bank and Qatar International Islamic Bank leading, with Qatar Aluminum and United Development joining in.
"The Tadawul index rallied to its highest level since late 2014, closing in on the 10,000 level. The benchmark is having generous support from the kingdom's plans to expand the economy, which is being highly welcomed by investors who are seeking Gulf markets.
"The Dubai Financial Market General Index finished marginally higher, as investors favored the news of introducing futures contracts on Aramex (+0.99%), Air Arabia (+2.4%) and du (0.29%)."
Bahrain shares bucked the trend by dropping 0.2 per cent, dragged down by Bank of Bahrain and Kuwait, which plunged 4.3 per cent and making its sharpest single-day decline since mid-2020. The lender saw its profits drop last year handing investors a reason to get worried about its first-quarter performance.