DUBAI: Major stock markets in the Gulf ended higher on Thursday, supported by a rebound in oil prices, but the Egyptian index bucked the trend to close lower.
Brent crude oil futures LCOc1 were up 18 cents, or 0.25%, at $72.40 a barrel by 1024 GMT, holding just shy of a high not seen since May 2019. Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index edged up 0.1%, extending gains for the fourth consecutive session, with Al Rajhi Bank rising 0.6% and Riyad Bank ending 1% higher.
Separately, Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund, said on Tuesday it has established two deputy governor roles to support the $430 billion fund’s continued growth and expansion.
The fund is expected to inject at least $40 billion annually into the local economy until 2025, and increase its assets to $1 trillion by then.
In Dubai, the index gained 0.4%, driven by a 1.1% rise in its top lender Emirates NBD Bank and a 0.4% increase in Shariah-compliant lender Dubai Islamic Bank.
Abu Dhabi’s main share index added 0.1%, extending gains to a fifth day in a row, helped by a 0.4% hike in aquaculture firm International Holding and a 0.1% gain in lender First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB).
Elsewhere, Abu Dhabi state investor Mubadala said on Tuesday it has joined a consortium led by US-based EIG Global Energy Partners that had agreed to buy a 49% equity stake in Aramco Oil Pipelines Co.
Boosted by financials shares, Qatar’s index also rose 0.3%, with Gulf’s largest lender Qatar National Bank (QNB) climbing 1.7% and petrochemical maker Industries Qatar advancing 0.8%.
Outside the Gulf, Egypt’s blue-chip index ended 0.6% lower as the country’s largest lender, Commercial International Bank slid 1.7%, and tobacco monopoly Eastern Company fell 0.8%.