Abu Dhabi and Dubai stocks extended their gains to a third day with blue-chips leading the way, while the Saudi Arabian index was pushed higher by a set of robust corporate results.
Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange shot up 1.5 per cent to trade at 5,911 points - and the best since 2005 - with gains for Etisalat and First Abu Dhabi Bank, which rallied 2.9 and 1.3 per cent, respectively. Gulf Pharmaceutical Industries surged for a second day after striking a deal to manufacture COVID-19 vaccine in the UAE.
"Most sectors outperformed, while the healthcare sector is still leveraging on the deal to manufacture the COVID-19 vaccine," he said. "The financial sector is cheering the continuous rise in bond yields around the world.
"In Dubai, the image was a little bit different, where consumer cyclical and non-cyclical weighed on the index. But the financial sector was there to boost the index, leading it to settle slightly higher for the third straight session at 2,558."
Aldar Properties gained 1.8 per cent after revealing a Dh500 million redevelopment plan for Yas Mall to reinforce the asset’s position as the centerpiece of the Yas Island destination. The plan reimagines the mall’s spaces and introduces new concepts for a diversified offering to tenants and customers. It will repurpose 40 per cent of the Mall's gross leasable area.
Dubai Financial Market edged 0.2 per cent up to 2,559 points marking its third rise in as many days and a complete reversal from the previous week when the index fell every day. Emaar Properties gained 0.6 per cent and Emirates NBD 1.8 per cent.
Earnings drive buy-in
Saudi Arabia's benchmark index traded 0.2 higher with Saudi Electricity jumping 9.9 per cent after full-year profits more than doubled to SR3 billion and sales rose 5.6 per cent to SR68.7 billion. The bottom-line also received some boost from cancelation of SR412 million in tax expenses as a result of a tax law change last year. The utility firm will also pay out 0.7 riyal per share in dividends.
Qatar Exchange dropped more than 0.4 per cent at some point during the day, before pulling back to close the day higher by 0.6 per cent at 10,381 points. Banking stocks, which weighed down the index earlier in the day, recouped losses with Masraf Al Rayan advancing 2.4 per cent and Qatar National Bank joining in with 1.1 per cent.
Zain eclipses banking gains
Kuwait premier index dropped 0.3 per cent to 6,269 points despite gaining stocks outnumbering those that shed value. Advances from National Bank of Kuwait, Ahli United Bank and Boubyan Bank were countered by more than a 5 per cent plunge in the heavyweight telecom company Zain on ex-dividend date, when investors can sell their positions and still be entitled to the last declared dividends.
Ex-dividend stocks also pulled Bahrain shares lower by 0.3 per cent at 1,454 points. APM Terminals Bahrain, Seef Properties and telco Batelco all drifted into red. In Oman, it was telco Ooredoo, Sohar International Bank, HSBC Oman Bank and Ahli Bank that pushed the index down 0.1 per cent to 3,681 points.