Stocks in Gulf seen benefiting on Saudi bourse gains
Gulf markets will take a positive lead on Sunday from gains in Saudi Arabia's bourse a day earlier, while high oil prices are expected to boost demand in petrochemical stocks.
Saudi Arabia's benchmark extended gains on Saturday, closing at 7,336 points, its highest level since September 2008.
Brent April crude fell $2.55 to settle at $123.65 a barrel on Friday after Saudi Arabia eased investor concerns about a reported pipeline explosion that had pushed Brent to the highest level since 2008.
Elsewhere, Dubai's index slipped from Wednesday's 15-month on Thursday, and investors expect further profit-taking to continue.
"After the strong rallies we have seen (in UAE), the perception is that the market is changing, which is good, but at the same time we must have some consolidation," says Sebastien Henin, portfolio manager at The National Investor. "I expect profit-taking in coming sessions, which would be positive."
Abu Dhabi's Aldar Properties will be in focus after Moody's changed the stock's outlook to positive from negative after the government bought assets from the developer.
Qatar's bourse is closed on Sunday for an official holiday for banks and financial institutions.
Overseas, U.S. stocks edged lower on Friday as sparse economic data gave investors little incentive to push range-bound indexes any higher. Still, the S&P 500 and Nasdaq gained for the eighth week in the last nine.