Hopes for faster economic recovery reflects in leading Middle Eastern stock markets

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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Saudi Arabia
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Most of the prominent stock markets in the Middle East closed on a positive note on Sunday, with Saudi Arabia being in the front marking an increase in financial shares.

The positive developments in the COVID-19 vaccine have spurred the faster global economic recovery hopes, which reflected in a rise in the Gulf markets by Thursday.

According to official data, Saudi Arabia’s consumer price index has jumped by 5.8 percent in October, when compared year on year and a slight increase from that of September.

The Kingdom’s benchmark index jumped to 0.8 percent on Sunday, with the Riyad based Al-Rajhi Bank posted a 1.4 percent rise and a 5.1 percent increase in utility firm Saudi Electricity.

The main share index of Dubai surged by 0.3 percent, as the Emirates NBD Bank marked a 1.5 percent increase and the budget aviation group Air Arabia’s 1.8 percent gain. With the First Abu Dhabi Bank’s (FAB) 0.5 percent rise in share, Abu Dhabi’s index jumped to 0.3 percent.

The UAE-based Dana Gas was leading among the gainers with a 0.3 percent rise as the energy group announced that it hopes to complete the sale of its onshore Egyptian oil and gas assets by the beginning of 2021 to IPR Wastani Petroleum Ltd., a member of the IPR Energy Group.

As part of UAE’s mission to overcome the economic effects of the pandemic, the has reopened its land border crossings as well as a relaxation in the authorization to Omani citizens to enter the country but would need a negative PCR coronavirus test.

Qatar’s index eased 0.1 percent, weighed down by a 1 percent drop in the Gulf’s largest lender Qatar National Bank.

Outside the Gulf, Egypt’s blue-chip index was pushed down by 0.6 percent, due to the 1.3 percent fall in the country’s largest lender Commercial International Bank.