DUBAI: Egypt’s blue-chip index outperformed regional peers to close higher on Wednesday, while Saudi stocks slipped on weakness in the financial and petrochemical sectors.
Although Asian stocks strengthened overnight following Wall Street gains, market sentiment was volatile and European indexes were mostly down.
Dubai’s main share index closed 0.7% higher, bolstered by a 0.8% rise in Emirates Integrated Telecommunications and a 2.1% jump in budget airliner Air Arabia.
Blue-chip developer Emaar Properties was the biggest boost with a 2.1% jump after Moody’s changed the company’s outlook to stable from negative.
Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index lost 0.5%. Al Rajhi Bank dropped 1.2% while Dr Sulaiman Al-Habib Medical Services declined 1.9%.
Domestic fundamentals provided some support though.
The country’s credit rating remains stable along with economic growth, said Daniel Takieddine, CEO MENA BDSwiss.
In Abu Dhabi, equities slipped 0.3%, extending losses to a sixth straight session as Fertiglobe dropped more than 2%.
However, conglomerate International Holding Company edged up 0.2% on its unit IHC Food Holding’s decision to acquire a 25% stake in Invictus Trading FZE.
The Abu Dhabi stock market remained volatile after recent price corrections despite stable local fundamentals and high oil prices as selling pressures came into play, Takieddine added.
Outside the Gulf, the Egypt index surged 1.9% in its biggest intraday gain since July 13, with Commercial International Bank Egypt rising 1.6%.
Among other stocks, Egyptian investment bank EFG Hermes climbed 4.6% after unit Vortex Energy on Tuesday announced an investment of about 222 million euros ($238.38 million) in integrated renewables group Ignis.