Major markets gain as non-oil sector stocks shine
Dubai’s main share index tacked on 0.9 per cent, driven mainly by a 1.8 per cent gain in the emirate’s biggest bank Emirates NBD.
Major stocks in the Gulf region strengthened on Monday, bucking the global trend, as shares in non-oil sectors took centre stage with markets in the UAE primarily driving the gains.
The non-oil sector in the Middle East’s tourism and business hub Dubai returned to growth in December, although the expansion was modest as employment fell and sentiment for the new year was subdued, the seasonally adjusted HIS Markit Dubai Purchasing Managers’ Index survey showed.
Dubai has been hit hard by the coronavirus crisis and its economy is expected to have contracted by 6.2 per cent in 2020.
Dubai’s main share index tacked on 0.9 per cent, driven mainly by a 1.8 per cent gain in the emirate’s biggest bank Emirates NBD . Sharia-compliant lender Dubai Islamic Bank also advanced, adding 0.8 per cent.
In Abu Dhabi, the benchmark firmed 1.2 per cent, helped by a more than 2 per cent gain in UAE’s largest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB).
Real estate firm Aldar Properties was also among the top performers in the benchmark, gaining 1.9 per cent.
Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index finished the session up 0.6 per cent, buoyed by a 0.7 per cent rise in lender Al Rajhi Bank .
Most cement producers firmed on the day after Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman unveiled plans on Sunday to build a zero-carbon city at NEOM, the first major construction project for the $500 billion flagship business zone aimed at diversifying the economy of the world’s largest oil exporter.
Saudi Cement put on 2.6 per cent, while Tabuk Cement finished 6.2 per cent higher and Yanbu Cement added 4.5 per cent.
The Qatari index gained for a third consecutive session, tacking on 1.1 per cent.
The Gulf’s biggest lender Qatar National Bank firmed 1.2 per cent and was the best performer on the benchmark.
Outside the Gulf, Egypt’s prime index added 0.6 per cent, led by a 1.7 per cent gain in Commercial International Bank, the country’s largest private bank. — Reuters
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