Saudi stocks expanded their bullish run for an eighth session as oil prices shot past $63 a barrel as demand outlook brightened amid US fiscal stimulus and hopes for a quicker turnaround. The benchmark index gained 0.5 per cent to 9,082 points, and up 4 per cent year-to-date.
The gains mark a significant comeback from the red territory it entered after the kingdom introduced fresh curbs on social and business activities and as doubts were raised about outlook for oil. Lenders that rely on government deposits gained the most, with Al Rajhi trading 1.8 per cent higher, while the country's largest lender - National Commercial Bank - rose 1.5 per cent adding to its recent rally following the robust full-year results.
Keep gains coming
Atheeb Telecom jumped another 10 per cent to SR13.4 as its shares resumed trading in the last session after staying suspended for two-and-a-half years on its failure to disclose results for the year ending March 2018. It also reported nine-month profits versus losses a year earlier and reduced accumulated losses to zero.
Dubai Financial Market rose 0.7 per cent to 2,642 points. Union Properties advanced 1.5 per cent and was the most heavily traded stock on DFM with around 44 million shares traded. It turned profitable in 2020 as its diversified business streams placed it in a better position to cope with virus-created repercussions. It also reported lower operating costs and reduced accumulated losses.
Dar Al Takaful inched up 2.1 per cent after full-year profits surged to Dh22.5 million from Dh4.9 million a year before as its underwriting profit rose 50 per cent to Dh56.5 million.
Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange traded down 0.3 per cent to 5,649 points with First Abu Dhabi Bank edging back 0.7 per cent to Dh14.8. Aldar Properties fell 1.6 per cent after advancing nearly as much in the last session ahead of posting higher full-year and quarterly profits.
Aldar announced on Monday its plan for acquisitions locally and in Egypt and in fact has already allocated capital required for the purpose after disposing more than Dh1 billion of assets towards the end of last year. But some investors looked to encash their positions after the stock rose as much as 23 per cent. It is still trading over 16 per cent year-to-date.
Qatar Exchange extended its losses to a third session dropping 0.5 per cent to 10,456 points. Ooredoo slumped 8.1 per cent recording its sharpest single-day fall in nearly a year to close at QR7.9 in a heavy trade that saw over 4 million shares change hands. The telco surprisingly slipped into fourth-quarter losses amounting to QR342 million while its full-year profits plunged 35 per cent to QR1.13 billion owing to adverse impacts from coronavirus.
Oman's 30-company index snapped six days of losing streak rising 0.3 per cent to 3,567 points with banking stocks leading the gains. The index began a downward trend in the final days of January leading to three straight weeks in negative territory mainly as its lenders came under heavy selling pressure from lackluster full-year results and slashed dividends.