Petchems help Saudi index end higher; Dubai up

Investor sentiment in Dubai boosted by world stocks rebounding from a two-week low
Petchems help Saudi index end higher; Dubai up
Dubais index ended higher for a second day
By Reuters
Wed 07 Sep 2011 10:13 AM

Petrochemical stocks led a rally, helping Saudi Arabia's index end higher for the first time in the last three trading sessions.

Saudi Basic Industries Corp and National Industrialisation Co climbed 1.9 percent each, buoyed by oil prices that were up at just over $113 a barrel.

Saudi Lender Al Rajhi Bank added 0.7 percent.

The index gained 1 percent ending at 6,124 points.

Dubai's index ended higher for a second day, with investor sentiment boosted by world stocks rebounding from a two-week low.

Global shares were up after Germany's top court rejected lawsuits aimed at blocking Germany's participation in bailout packages for Greece and other euro zone countries.

Property stocks led Dubai's rally, with Deyaar climbing 1.5 percent, Emaar Properties up 0.4 percent and builder Arabtec gaining 0.7 percent.

"There was a pick up in Asian stocks in the morning and this was reflected in the markets here," said Haissam Arabi, chief executive and fund manager at Gulfmena Alternative Investments.

"All eyes will now be on the US markets and how they perform today."

The Dubai bourse ended 0.2 percent higher at 1,488 points, its highest close since August 29.

Abu Dhabi's measure slipped 0.2 percent to 2,601 points, its third decline in four days.

Qatar's index advanced after the gas exporter said it would hand out significant salary and pension increases for its state and military employees.

The benchmark ended 0.7 percent higher at 8,398 points.

Meanwhile, Kuwait's telecom firm Zain climbed 1 percent lifting the country's bourse.

Kuwait's index ended 0.8 percent higher at 5,908 points.

Petrochemical stocks led gains on Saudi Arabia's bourse as rebounding world markets and rising oil prices boosted sentiment.

Brent crude climbed above $113 a barrel on Wednesday.

Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) gained 1.4 percent and National Industrialisation Co climbed 2.2 percent.

The petrochemical index advanced 1.5 percent.

"Investors feel that petrochemical stocks have a fair valuation now," said Hesham Tuffaha, Bakheet Investment Group head of asset management.

"There is still a bad news around globally, but traders are buying as they feel the prices are comfortable and they hope for stability. If the world markets are stable, petrochemical stocks will rise further."

The Saudi index climbed 0.9 percent to 6,114 points.

World stocks steadied above a two-week low on Wednesday and the euro rebounded after some more positive data from the United States and Australia helped calm frayed market nerves.

Most stocks advanced on Qatar's bourse after the gas exporter said it would hand out significant salary and pension increases for its state and military employees.

Qatar's state news agency announced a decree by deputy Emir and heir to the Qatari throne Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani to increase the basic salary and social allowances for state civilian employees by 60 percent.

For military staff of officer rank, the decree announced a 120 percent increase.

"Qatar has already been showing signs of an uptrend and this announcement will further boost the market," said Musa Haddad, head of MENA equity desk at National Bank of Abu Dhabi.

Qatar Islamic Bank gained 0.6 percent and Doha Bank climbs 1.5 percent.

The index rose 0.3 percent to 8,366 points.

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