Arab bourses extend gains at start of new trading week

Business Materials 30 November 2008 18:14 (UTC +04:00)

Arab stock markets rallied Sunday at the start of a new trading week, buoyed by a positive sentiment derived from good performance of world markets last week and a picked-up foreign buying, financial analysts said, dpa reported.

The only exception was the Saudi stock exchange, which shed 2.21 per cent in what analysts described a profit taking move that followed Saturday's strong performance.

The Tadawul All Share Index (TASI) of the Arab world's largest stock market climbed 9.51 per cent on Saturday on assurances by King Abdullah that the Saudi economy was "strong" and that there was nothing to worry about.

Analysts also attributed Saturday's jump at the Saudi stock exchange to the unofficial consultative meeting by OPEC officials in Cairo in the same day.

The meeting decided not to change the cartel's current output, but a cut in the organization's crude production is expected to be high on the agenda of OPEC's official meeting on December 17, analysts said.

Kuwait's KSE all-share index gained 1.69 per cent on Sunday, extending gains that were scored on Wednesday and Thursday last week.

"I believe an optimistic mood continued to dominate the Kuwaiti market, with particular emphasis on leading stocks particularly the National Bank of Kuwait and the Gulf Finance House (an Islamic bank)," Ahmad Duwaisan, Director General of the Kuwait-based Rubaiya Brokerage told the Dubai-based CNBC-Arabiya network.

Other analysts believed the rally at the Kuwaiti stock exchange could be particularly attributed to plans by the state-owned Kuwait Investment Corporation (KIC) to enter the market shortly.

Jordanian stocks also rallied on Sunday with the all-share price index gaining 4.16 per cent, led by blue chips particularly the Arab Bank, the Arab Potash Co., the Jordan Phosphates Mines Co. and the Jordan Petroleum Refinery.

The all-share price index of the United Arab Emirates stock exchanges of Dubai and Abu Dhabi went up by 1.74 per cent.

Egypt's CASE 30, which measures the performance of the market's 30 most active stocks, jumped 4.01 per cent, closing at 4,206 points.

Analysts attributed the strong performance of the Egyptian stock exchange over the last three trading days mainly to a spate of foreign buying.