Dubai: Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul index rose, continuing to build gains in the new year, making it the top performing index in the region.

The Tadauwl index closed 0.78 per cent higher at 8,210.16, after hitting a high of 8,230.13, a level last seen in early August. Today’s gains brought the total to nearly 5 per cent in the month so far.

The Tadawul index has been accumulating gains on the back of recovery in oil prices, from where it derives 87 per cent of its revenues.

Saudi Basic Industries Corp. closed 1.16 per cent higher at 122.40 Saudi riyals. Al Rajhi Bank closed 1.58 per cent higher at 96.60 riyals. National Commercial Bank closed 2.28 per cent higher at 49.40 riyals. “As GCC economies are pegged to the dollar, the rise of Fed rates had a positive impact on banks through net interest margins expansion. This was particularly the case of Saudi,” Charles Henry-Monchau, managing director, chief investment officer and head of Investment Management at Al Mal Capital said. GCC central banks usually follow the direction of US interest rates.

The Dubai Financial Market (DFM) general index closed a tad higher following positive leads from oil and global markets. The DFM General Index closed 0.23 per cent higher at 2,545.65. The index was the worst performing emerging market index in 2018.

“The broad Dubai market trades at a very inexpensive P/E of 6.5x with a dividend yield of 6.2 per cent. On this basis, the Dubai equity index is probably among the cheapest in the world. What is missing is catalysts to unlock value. We believe that a few of them could soon trigger a rebound of our local market,” Henry-Monchau said.

Emaar Properties rose 2 per cent to end at Dh4.06. Dubai Islamic Bank closed 0.4 per cent higher at Dh5.08. Gulf Finance House closed at Dh0.939, up 2.18 per cent.

DP World closed 0.68 per cent lower at Dh16.89. The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange general index closed 0.18 per cent higher at 4,962.37. First Abu Dhabi Bank closed 0.28 per cent higher at Dh14.38, Elsewhere in the region, the Muscat MSM 30 index closed flat 4,310.56. The Qatar exchange index closed 1.17 per cent higher at 10,658.22.