MSM30 index adds most since December 22

Dubai - 

Gulf Arab equities trimmed their worst January in seven years after oil capped its second weekly advance.

Dubai’s DFM general index led gains in the region, climbing to the highest in more than three weeks as the number of shares traded was almost double the six-month average. Abu Dhabi’s ADX general index had the biggest increase in more than a year on a closing basis. Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul all share index rose a fourth day, the longest streak since November.

“We were sitting on the sidelines for most of January," said Muhammad Shabbir, the Dubai-based head of equities and funds at Rasmala Investment Bank. “We’re looking to enter the market again this week after the losses we’ve seen this month. February could well shape up as a positive month."

Equities across emerging markets rallied last week as risk appetite strengthened on bets the Federal Reserve will refrain from raising interest rates soon and as oil jumped on speculation an output cut may be on the way.

Brent crude for March settlement, which expired last week, rose 2.5 per cent to US$34.74 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange on Friday. The more-active April contract increased to US$35.99.

The Bloomberg GCC 200 index, a gauge of 200 of the region’s biggest companies, added 2.9 per cent in Dubai, gaining for a third day. The measure has lost 8.6 per cent this month, poised for the worst start to a year since 2009.

Emirates NBD, Dubai’s biggest lender, led the emirate’s benchmark index as just 211,000 shares were exchanged. The bank’s weight on the gauge was increased this month as part of a regular index review.

The DFM general index increased 4.9 per cent to the highest level since January 6, taking its three-day gain to 11 per cent. The measure’s 30-day volatility is near the highest in a year following the swings in January.

Abu Dhabi’s ADX general index advanced 3.7 per cent. First Gulf Bank was the biggest contributor to gains with a 12.4 per cent jump, the most since May 2005. Saudi Arabia’s benchmark added 3.6 per cent, taking its four-day gain to 8.5 per cent. Saudi Basic Industries Corp, one of the world’s biggest petrochemicals companies, rose 4.9 per cent, the most since August on a closing basis.

Oman’s MSM30 index added 3.3 per cent, the most since December 22. The index closed at 5,179.36. Bahrain’s BB all share index rose 1.3 per cent, also the most since December, and Qatar’s QE Index advanced 2.3 per cent.

Kuwait’s SE price index increased 2.1 per cent, the biggest jump in more than a year. Kuwait Finance House rose 5.3 per cent after the company’s fourth-quarter profit climbed ten per cent.

Bloomberg

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