Most Gulf stock markets pulled back slightly on Tuesday because of a plunge of oil prices, while Egypt’s bourse bucked weakness in other emerging markets and held firm.
Brent crude oil sank 5.3 percent to below $50 a barrel, denting – though not destroying – hopes in the Gulf that oil prices have finally bottomed out.
This dampened some of the petrochemical stocks which had surged in the previous several days in response to stronger oil.
Saudi Basic Industries, which had jumped 12 percent in the past four days, fell back 1.1 percent as the petrochemical index lost 0.6 percent.
A few petchems stayed firm, however, with Saudi Kayan gaining 2.5 percent. The Saudi stock index dropped 0.5 percent to 7,777 points, retreating from technical resistance at 7,812-7,953 points, its highs in September and at the end of August.
Arab National Bank, the kingdom’s seventh-largest lender by assets, fell 0.7 percent after reporting a 2.2 percent rise in third-quarter profit, marginally missing analysts’ forecasts.
Qatar’s stock index edged down 0.3 percent as drilling rig provider Gulf International Services, which had jumped as oil rebounded in the past several days, fell by the same margin.
However, Islamic Holding edged up 0.2 percent after an extraordinary general assembly of shareholders approved a 50 percent capital increase via a rights issue.
Gulf Warehousing soared 11.2 percent, largely because of an adjustment to its reference price as the rights to subscribe in its capital increase expired.
Dubai’s stock index slipped 0.3 percent although the most heavily traded stock, commodities shipper Gulf Navigation, jumped 11.5 percent to its highest level this year.
Abu Dhabi’s index edged up 0.1 percent. National Bank of Kuwait, the country’s biggest bank, closed flat after reporting a 9.1 percent rise in third-quarter net profit to 64.5 million dinars ($214 million), missing estimates; analysts polled by Reuters had forecast NBK would make a quarterly profit of 71.0-71.8 million dinars.
Kuwait’s stock crept down 0.1 percent.
Egypt’s index edged up 0.2 percent, outperforming MSCI’s main emerging markets index, which was down 1.2 percent.
The Egyptian market remains technically bullish after the index established an uptrend channel from its August low.
Trading volume in the past few days has jumped to its highest levels this year, another positive technical sign.
Amer Group gained 2.3 percent, continuing a surge that began on Monday when the exchange said it would suspend trading in the company’s shares from next Monday until it completed its planned split into two companies.
Real estate developer Emaar Misr rose 3.4 percent after saying its post of non-executive chairman, held by Mohamed Alabbar, would be converted to an executive post.
Alabbar founded Dubai’s Emaar Properties, parent of Emaar Misr, and investors may expect closer cooperation between the two companies under the new arrangement.