© Reuters. A trader on the Dubai Stock Exchange in a photo from Reuters archive
From Ateeq Sharif
(Reuters) – Most Gulf stock markets closed higher on Wednesday as investors played down concerns about negotiations to raise the US debt ceiling.
And it increased 0.6 percent, supported by a jump of 3.6 percent for the share of the National Bank of Saudi Arabia, the largest bank in the Kingdom, and 3 percent for the share of Riyad Bank (TADAWUL:).
Gabi Dahdouh of Capix.com said that the market is still going in a positive direction in general, but it is starting to face some challenges to maintain clear gains.
“The main indicator may be affected by the deterioration of conditions in the oil markets in the short to medium term,” he added.
And it stabilized – a major catalyst for the Gulf financial markets – after a sudden rise in US crude stocks, which fueled concerns about demand.
But Saudi Aramco shares (TADAWUL:) closed down 0.9 percent after the expiration of the right to dividends.
The Qatari index was the best performer in the region, closing up 2 percent, with most stocks listed on the index gaining, after media reports said the Gulf state plans to support the stock market to attract foreign investors. Qatar Islamic Bank jumped 4.5 percent.
The Dubai index snapped a series of losses that lasted four sessions, to close up 1.6 percent, with the Emirates Central Cooling Systems Corporation rising 3 percent.
In Abu Dhabi, the index increased 0.5 percent.
Outside the Gulf region, the blue-chip index fell 1.1 percent, with Sidi Kerir Petrochemicals (EGX:) falling 6.7 percent.
Dahdouh said that the Egyptian Stock Exchange has stabilized to some extent, but continues to record losses, with continued selling by foreign investors due to global concerns and the decline in risk appetite.
(Prepared by Mahmoud Abdel-Gawad for the Arabic Bulletin)