(Reuters) – Most Gulf stocks closed higher on Sunday following Friday’s rise in global equities and a jump in oil prices, with Saudi Arabian banks boosting the index.
FILE PHOTO: An investor walks through the Dubai Financial Market after Joe Biden won the U.S. presidency, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates November 8, 2020. REUTERS/Christopher Pike/File Photo
A gauge of global equity markets scaled a new record on Friday on expectations of further stimulus from Washington and hopes of an economic revival.
Oil prices, a key catalyst for the Gulf regions’ financial markets, rose, with Brent climbing to nearly $60 a barrel, helped by supply curbs by producer group OPEC and its allies. [O/R]
Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index advanced 0.8%, buoyed by a 1.4% gain in Al Rajhi Bank and a 5.6% surge in Bank Albilad after it reported an increase in full year profit.
Among other gainers, oil behemoth Saudi Aramco ended 0.4% up.
Dubai’s main share index slipped 0.2%, hit by a 3.2% fall in Dubai Investments.
Last week, the diversified investment group reported a net profit of 347.9 million dirhams ($94.72 million) for 2020, down from 657.4 million dirhams a year earlier.
The Abu Dhabi index edged up 0.1%, supported by a 1.4% rise in Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank.
In Qatar, the index added 0.6%, led by a 1.5% rise in petrochemical maker Industries Qatar.
Outside the Gulf, Egypt’s blue-chip index concluded flat, with tobacco monopoly Eastern Company falling 2%.
Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; Editing by Alison Williams