Major Gulf bourses put in a mixed performance on Thursday as oil prices fluctuated, while the Qatar index jumped more than 1% as gas prices rebounded.
Oil prices - a key contributor to the Gulf’s economies -oscillated as the market weighed a large build in U.S. crude inventories and hopes for a Chinese demand recovery. Brent crude futures were last up 20 cents, or 0.23%, to $85.59 a barrel.
The Qatari Stock index rose 1.8% buoyed by a 2.9% gain in petrochemical maker Industries Qatar and a 5.5% jump in Masraf Al Rayan, with almost all of its other constituent stocks also trading higher.
Fadi Reyad, Chief Market Analyst at CAPEX.com MENA, attributed the move higher, after a series of losses, to natural gas prices ending a losing streak.
NYMEX Henry Hub Natural Gas futures were trading around 3% higher.
The global LNG market, in which Qatar is a major player, is expected to remain tight and exposed to supply and demand shocks in the near term, with limited new supply coming online, Shell said on Thursday, adding that more investment would be needed to meet future demand.
Most Middle Eastern bourses gain; Abu Dhabi falls
Gains in the industrial and utility sectors helped Dubai’s benchmark index close 0.2% higher after a volatile session, while Saudi Arabia’s index eased 0.2% with most sectors in the red and pressured by a 0.7% drop in Al Rajhi Bank, the world’s largest Islamic lender.
Saudi ICT services provider Solutions By Stc also tumbled 9.1% after a 26.5% jump in full-year net profit nonetheless missed analysts’ estimates.
In Abu Dhabi, the benchmark index dipped 0.3%, dragged down by a 1.8% drop in the UAE’s largest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank and a 5.5% fall in Americana International Restaurants.
Abu Dhabi National Energy rose 3.2% after Japan’s JERA said on Wednesday it had signed a memorandum of understanding with the company to explore opportunities to develop decarbonisation projects such as hydrogen and ammonia.
Outside the Gulf, Egypt’s blue-chip index eased 0.2%, snapping two sessions of gains, as Commercial International Bank Egypt dropped 1.5%.
======================================= SAUDI ARABIA fell 0.2% to 10,548 ABU DHABI down 0.3% to 9,875 DUBAI edged 0.2% at 3,470 QATAR jumped 1.8% to 10,641 EGYPT lost 0.2% to 17,489 BAHRAIN down 0.1% to 1,936 OMAN gained 0.4% at 4,653 KUWAIT dropped 0.2% to 8,232 =======================================