Arab stock markets shake off Syria strike jitters

Traders have moved to focus on company results again after having two days to reflect
By Bloomberg
Sun 15 Apr 2018 04:08 PM

Stocks across most Arab markets advanced on Sunday as the risk of a military showdown between the US and Russia in Syria that would roil the region faded.

Dubai’s main equity gauge climbed the most since July, and 98 percent of companies in Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul index rose. Stocks in Abu Dhabi climbed as much as 1.3 percent, sending the benchmark index to the highest level on a closing basis since August 2015.

The US, UK and France attacked military positions and research facilities linked to chemical weapons in Syria over the weekend. While Russia, Iran and Lebanon’s Hezbollah group rallied around Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad’s regime, they didn’t threaten any retaliation. Saudi Arabia said it would take part in the US coalition if asked.

Investors have had two days to reflect on the strikes, so the operation isn’t a factor that would prompt traders to sell anymore, said Mohammed Ali Yasin, the chief executive officer of FAB Securities in Abu Dhabi. What they’re focused on is company results, he said.

Saudi Arabia’s stocks on Wednesday fell the most since October after US President Donald Trump’s comments on Twitter suggested that strikes against Syria were imminent. On Sunday, Tadawul All Share Index climbed 1.6 percent before noon in Riyadh, the most in a month. None of the gauge’s 182 members fell.

Dubai’s DFM General Index added 1.7 percent, led by Dubai Islamic Bank’s 2.8 percent advance. Abu Dhabi’s ADX General Index rose 1.2 percent. Stocks in Egypt increased less than 0.1 percent, while Bahrain’s gauge lost less than 0.1 percent.

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Last Updated: Sun 15 Apr 2018 04:07 PM GST

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