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Mon 23 Nov 2009 10:39 AM

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Dubai index rebounds from 10-week low

UPDATE 5: Index mades largest one-day gain since Nov 4, while gold price hits record high.

Dubai's index made its largest one-day gain since November 4 as a positive start to European trading spurred a late surge on the emirate's bourse.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index of top shares was up 1.5 percent at 1003 GMT, snapping a four-day losing streak as rising commodity prices buoy equities.

Analysts said that among Gulf markets, Dubai's index is most correlated to international stocks. It climbed 1.8 percent to 2,112 points, clawing back most of the previous day's losses.

Gold hit a record high on Monday and the US dollar's slump was seen as the main catalyst for the precious metal's rise.

The dollar index was down 0.8 percent at 1007 GMT, with a declining US currency usually beneficial for dollar-denominated assets such as gold and oil, plus Gulf equities thanks to the respective currencies' dollar pegs.

Emaar Properties

climbed 2.7 percent and
Union Properties

added 4.4 percent.

Emirates NBD

rose 1.3 percent, a day after its chief executive said the lender had exposure of up to $350m to two Saudi conglomerates now restructuring their debt.

Abu Dhabi's index also advanced, climbing 1.5 percent to 2,908 points.

National Marine Dredging Co

climbed the maximum 10 percent after winning a $408m canal contract in the UAE capital.

Saudi Arabia's index ended higher for a second day, with heavyweight
Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC)

the main support as oil prices rallied.

SABIC

climbed 0.9 percent, tracking a 1.3 percent rise in crude prices to $78.48 a barrel at 1240 GMT.

The benchmark edged 0.1 percent higher to 6,291 points. Less than 84 million shares change hands, the second-lowest total of the past 11 weeks.

Dar Al Arkan

was the most active stock, accounting for more than a third of all shares changing hands. It rose 0.6 percent. On Sunday, the developer said it would put 319 villas up for sale in the fourth quarter.

Agility

plunged to a 28-week low as most Kuwait blue chips resumed their decline following a brief rally, with analysts blaming political paralysis,
Agility

's US court indictment and
Zain

's takeover saga for Monday's slump.

Agility

fell 2.6 percent to 0.85 dinars, its lowest close since May 10, while
Zain

dropped 1 percent and heavyweight banks
Kuwait Finance House

and
National Bank of Kuwait

lost 1.9 and 3.6 percent respectively.

The index fell 0.4 percent to 6,796 points, but Kuwait's government could stop the rot if it took action to support its dominant financial sector, said Keith Edwards, head of asset management at Doha-based investment company The First Investor.

"Kuwait could be a surprise because the government has been in paralysis for most of the year, so little has been done to support the financial system and one has to wonder how long this can go on for," he says.

"The situation could change overnight and if Kuwait does take action, it could spark a rally."

Qatar's index ended higher for the fifth session in six, with
Industries Qatar

adding 1.5 percent and
Commercial Bank of Qatar

rising 1.9 percent.

The index climbed 1.2 percent to 7,256 points.

Bahrain's measure slipped 0.2 percent to 1,447 points to be within a few points of last week's two-year low.

Rising volumes helped Oman's index end higher for the first session in three, although there was pressure from foreign funds dumping blue chip names.

National Bank of Oman

was the main support, rising 1.3 percent.

Heavyweights
Bank Muscat

and
Oman Telecommunications Co (Omantel)

dropped 2.2 percent and 0.5 percent respectively.
Galfar Engineering

was the most active stock, accounting for a quarter of all shares changing hands, and it slipped 0.3 percent.

The index climbed 0.2 percent to 6,396 points. (Reuters)