Middle Eastern equity markets mostly rose on Sunday as economies continued to open up from coronavirus lockdowns, with Saudi Arabia leading gains.
The Tadawul All Shares Index climbed as much as 4.1%, before trimming gains to 1.7%. Gauges in Abu Dhabi, Egypt and Oman rose, while those in Dubai, Israel, Kuwait and Qatar traded slightly lower.
Saudi Arabia began the second phase of easing its shutdown on Sunday by resuming domestic flights and shortening curfews. The local market was closed for the Eid-al-Fitr holiday all of last week, when emerging-market assets rose on optimism over the reopening of economies and oil prices advanced.
Dubai’s government has allowed offices to be at 50% capacity from Sunday.
Gulf equities “are likely to catch up with global markets,” said Iyad Abu Hweij, managing partner at Allied Investment Partners PJSC in Dubai. “The easing of restrictions in domestic markets and recovery in oil prices should also be encouraging and lead to investors taking calculated risk.”
S&P Global Ratings said on Saturday that Abu Dhabi’s economy may contract 7.5% this year, on the back of lower oil production and the coronavirus pandemic. The ratings company also said the UAE central bank had plenty of buffers to maintain the dirham’s peg to the U.S. dollar, including “its foreign international reserves and the government’s large external assets.”
MIDDLE EASTERN MARKETS:
The Tadawul All Share Index rises 1.7% as of 11:00 a.m. local timeStocks adding most to the index increase: Al Rajhi Bank +4.3%, National Commercial Bank +5.8%, Sabic +3.6%, Saudi British Bank +4.4%Saudi clothing retailer Fawaz Abdulaziz Al Hokair climbs 3.1% after saying all stores will reopen, except those in MeccaNOTE: From Sunday, the Saudi stock exchange returns to its normal 10am-3pm trading hours, lifting virus-linked restricted hoursDubai’s DFM General Index falls 0.5%, after rising as much as 0.9% earlierOffices in Dubai can return to work on Sunday at 50% capacity in the private sector and 30% in the UAE government sectorCheck more on Dubai’s market hereGauge in Abu Dhabi rises 0.2%, with First Abu Dhabi Bank adding 0.7%MORE, on May 30: S&P Sees Abu Dhabi, Bahrain Economies Contracting on Oil, VirusIn Israel, the TA-35 falls 0.5%Half of Israeli Startups Report Material Pandemic Impact: Survey
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