DUBAI: Saudi Arabian shares closed higher on Sunday, tracking a rise in oil prices and as the kingdom lifted all COVID-19 restrictions, while Egyptian stocks tumbled amid selling by foreign investors.
Oil surged on Friday, ending the week at multi-year highs as the conflict in Ukraine intensified and oil buyers shunned barrels from Russia, the world’s second-largest exporter of crude.
Brent futures rose 6.9% on Friday to settle at $118.11 a barrel.
Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index ended up 0.4%, buoyed by petrochemical and energy stocks.
SABIC Agri-Nutrients and Sahara International Petrochemical Company led the gainers, climbing 7% and 6%, respectively.
Oil giant Saudi Aramco rose for a third consecutive day, closing up 0.7% at a record high of 44.60 riyals.
The Egyptian blue-chip index dropped 1.8%, led by a decline of nearly 3% in the country’s largest lender Commercial International Bank Egypt.
Foreign investors were the net seller of stocks, according to the exchange data.
Non-oil activity in Egypt’s private sector contracted for a 15th month in February; the IHS Markit’s Purchasing Managers’ Index stood at 48.1, well below the 50.0 threshold that separates growth from contraction.
The Qatar stock exchange was closed for a holiday.
SAUDI ARABIA up 0.4% to 12,804
EGYPT fell 1.8% to 11,095
BAHRAIN was up 0.9% to 1,993
OMAN rose 1.2% to 4,184
KUWAIT was down 0.2% to 8,580.