Arab stocks extended gains this week, buoyed by annual earnings, Greece’s bailout deal and the improving performance of the US economy, financial analysts said Friday.
Regional gainers were led by the bourses of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt.
”I believe the robust results of businesses in the oil-rich Gulf region represent the key moving factor in the region this week,” Nizar Taher, head of brokerage at the Jordan Ahli Bank, told dpa.
He attributed the bullish performance of Middle East markets for the second week in a row also to the easing European sovereign debt crisis with Greece’s acceptance of the new bailout agreement involving austerity measures and fresh signs of global recovery.
”I believe regional markets will be watching the impact of the Greek deal on the ground, but the European policy makers have to adopt unified and convincing measures that come to grips with the entirety of the eurozone sovereign debt ordeal,” Taher said.
He expected any military escalation with Iran and the strict application of sanctions against the Persian nation could push up oil prices dramatically and lead to larger Arab surplus petrodollars that seek investment in stocks.
Saudi shares surged for the second week in a row, led by the banking, petrochemical and retail sectors.
The Tadawul All Share Index (TASI) of the Arab world’s largest stock exchange jumped 2 percent on weekly basis, closing at a 21-month high of 6,797.09 points.
The rally was attributed by Saudi analysts to economic, financial and psychological factors that helped to direct liquidity to the stock market over the past weeks.
”These factors helped to prop up confidence and the buying appetite among investors,” said Abdullah Baeshen, CEO of the Riyadh-based TeamOne consultancy firm.
”I believe fresh liquidity is entering the stock market in search of higher returns in view of the very low interest rates currently ruling in the world’s major economies,” he added.
Kuwaiti stocks were volatile this week as investors sought to evaluate the outcome of last week’s early polls that brought an Islamic majority to the country’s National Assembly.
Kuwait’s KSE all-share index inched higher closing week at 5,864 points compared with last week’s close at 5,856 points.
United Arab Emirates stocks reflected mixed performance this week, apparently due to foreign buying that focused on shares drawn on the Dubai bourse.
Dubai’s benchmark gained 3.55 percent on a weekly basis, closing at 1,487 points, while Abu Dhabi’s index closed 0.4 percent in the red at 2,467 points.
Qatar’s index gained 0.4 percent this week, closing at 8,690 points, while Bahrain’s benchmark closed week unchanged at 1,137 points.
Jordanian shares rebounded this week, benefiting from better-than-expected annual earnings of the banking and industrial sectors and gains scored by other Arab markets, Taher said.
The all-share price index of the Amman Stock Exchange (ASE) rose 1.2 percent this week, to close at 1,968 points.
Egyptian stocks rallied this week in response to the retreat in protests that followed the Port Said soccer ordeal.
Egypt’s AGX30 index, which measures the performance of the market’s 30 most active stocks, surged 3.7 percent on a weekly basis, closing at 4,754 points.
However, analysts warned against the repercussions on the stock market of a call by certain groups for a civilian rebellion on Saturday to mark the first anniversary of former President Hosni Mubarak’s stepping down.