Gulf Markets Ride Righ on Upbeat Oil Prices

Major Gulf stock markets tracked global equities higher on Monday as risk appetite picked up and investors hoped rising oil prices would continue pumping more dollars into the region.

Oil prices were higher for a third consecutive trading day as Iran’s nuclear deal with the West appeared to hit obstacles and an embargo on Russian oil shipments loomed, stoking supply-side worries.

Banking shares drove the Abu Dhabi index to a buoyant weekly start with First Abu Dhabi Bank and Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank each gaining more than 1.6%.

The 1.4% rise in the index marked a fourth straight session of gains and built on a modest upswing last week when the market snapped a three-week losing streak.

Analysts however said the longer-term outlook remained unclear.

“The Abu Dhabi stock market extended its gains thanks to surging oil prices and solid economic fundamentals,” said Wael Makarem, Senior Market Strategist – MENA at Exness. “However, the market remains exposed to volatility in energy markets.”

Dubai’s index rose 1.2% with banks again leading the gains.

The region’s tourism hub continued its strong recovery as hotels welcomed 42% more guests in the first half of the year, and the trend is expected to extend into the upcoming winter season.

Investors were also upbeat ahead of Salik’s initial public offering. The road-toll operator said last week it would list as part of a government program aimed at attracting investor interest to the domestic stock exchange.

Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index gained 0.7% with nearly all its sectors in positive territory.

Lenders also led Qatar equities 0.7% higher with its largest bank Qatar National Bank jumping more than 3%.

Egyptian blue chips added 0.8% with local traders flocking to the market and buying high volumes.

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