Crude rally gives Gulf markets an early lift but earnings dampen momentum

A bounce in oil prices at the end of last week helped lift stock markets in the Arabia Gulf on Sunday in morning trade but second-quarter earnings from some of Dubai’s second-tier companies limited gains on that bourse.

Riyadh’s index added 1 per cent as all 14 listed petrochemical shares advanced after Brent crude futures settled 2 per cent higher at US$46.97 per barrel on Friday after touching $47.05, their highest level in more than three weeks.

Bellwether Saudi Basic Industries gained 1.5 per cent in the first 10 minutes of trade.

The positive mood spilled into other sectors, with the food and agriculture sub-index adding 1.2 per cent. Among its top performers was Savola Group, which gained 1.4 per cent.

Blue-chip stocks Emaar Properties, which was up 1.1 per cent, and Dubai Islamic Bank, which rose 0.7 per cent, helped carry Dubai’s index up 0.3 per cent.

But Shuaa Capital lost 1.2 per cent after the investment firm said it made a second-quarter net loss of Dh50.8 million, compared to a profit of 1.7m dirhams a year earlier.

The loss was mainly due to provisions set as aside by Shuaa’s business of lending to smaller firms.

Damac Properties fell 1.3 per cent after the developer reported a 37.4 per cent fall in second-quarter net profit to Dh886.8m.

Arabtec was down 1.3 per cent after it reported a second quarter loss of Dh186.4m, although that was an improvement from a year earlier.

Large-cap shares helped lead Qatar’s index up 0.4 per cent, after the index eased off 9-month highs on Thursday. Commercial Bank rose 2.2 per cent and Vodafone Qatar was up 1.8 per cent.

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