Arab bourses upbeat over G20 summit,


rising oil prices
04/04/2009 00:00 AST  Khaleej Times

Arab stock markets extended gains this week, buoyed by the G20 summit, rallies on global bourses and oil prices edging upwards, financial analysts said Friday.

“We believe that the G20 summit in London and gains scored by the Wall Street and other world markets have a positive impact on regional stocks,” Nizar Taher, head of brokerage at the Jordan Ahli Bank told the German Press Agency dpa.

“Arab stock markets, particularly in the oil-rich Gulf region, have affiliations with global markets and are set to benefit from the G20 summit’s adoption of a 1.1-trillion-dollar package to help revive the world economy,” he said.

Taher contended that the rising oil prices and the attractive low prices of Arab stocks would also help the recovery at the Middle East stock exchanges.

Saudi stocks rallied for the third week in a row this week amid a volatile performance with a limited range as listed firms prepared to issue their results for the second quarter.

The Tadawul All Share Index (TASI) of the Arab world’s largest stock exchange gained an additional 1.6 per cent this week, closing at 4,717.38 points.

TASI is currently 1.8 per cent lower than the year’s start, according to the weekly report of the Riyadh-based Bakheet Investment Group (BIG).

The report expected Saudi stocks to react favorably to the decisions of the G20 summit and the gains scored recently by the US and other global markets.

“However, the Saudi stock market will continue its fluctuations while investors eye the upcoming corporate results, particularly of the petrochemical and banking sectors for the first quarter of the year,” the BIG said.

Jordanian stocks also extended gains this week with improved confidence mainly due to efforts to ease the credit crunch by the Central Bank of Jordan.

The all-share price index of the Amman Stock Exchange went up 1.44 per cent this week, closing at 2,740 points, according to the ASE weekly report.

Kuwaiti shares also rallied for a second consecutive week, despite a decision by the market’s administration to suspend trading of 35 firms for their failure to publish their first quarter balance sheets within the set deadline.

The KSE all-share price index gained 2.3 per cent this week, to close at 6,909 points from 6,753 points last week.

The all-share index of the United Arab Emirates stock exchanges of Dubai and Abu Dhabi gained 1.9 per cent on Thursday, but closed the week lower at 2,526 points from 2,554 points last week.

Egypt’s AGX 30 index, which measures the performance of the market’s 30 most active stocks, gained 2.8 per cent this week, closing at 4,364 points.

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