Saudi index hits 15-year peak on higher oil prices

Arab World 17 January 2022 18:01 (UTC +04:00)
Saudi index hits 15-year peak on higher oil prices

Most stock markets in the Gulf rose in early trade on Monday, in line with rising oil prices, with the Saudi index hitting its highest mark in over 15 years, Trend reports with reference to Reuters.

Oil prices, a catalyst for the region's financial markets, gained ground as investors bet supply would remain tight amid restrained output by major producers, with global demand unperturbed by the Omicron coronavirus variant.

Brent crude futures were up 40 cents, or 0.5%, at $86.46 a barrel by 0641 GMT, touching their highest in more than three years.

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index edged up 0.1%, to its highest since July 2006, helped by a 1.2% rise in Saudi Telecom Company and a 0.4% increase in oil giant Saudi Aramco.

Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said on Monday that it was up to the United States whether or not to release more supply from its strategic petroleum reserves.

Dubai's main share index added 0.1%, with Dubai Investments advancing 1.5% and Amlak Finance rising 2%.

In Abu Dhabi, the index was up 0.2%.

The Qatari index gained 0.2%, led by a 1.4% increase in Qatar National Bank.

Last week, the Gulf's biggest bank reported a 10% increase in annual net profit driven by loan growth.

However, Qatar Islamic Bank fell 0.8%, despite reporting a rise in annual profit.