Nov 19 (Reuters) – Most Gulf stock markets closed with gains on Sunday in response to Friday’s rise in oil prices, with the Saudi index rising for a fourth consecutive session.
Oil prices – often the catalyst for Gulf financial markets – jumped more than 4% on Friday, clawing back from a 4-month low, with US sanctions on lending supporting some Russian oil shippers.
Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index (.TASI) rose 0.5%, oil giant Saudi Aramco (2222.SE) rose 0.3% and Saudi National Bank (1180.SE), the country’s biggest lender, rose 1.5%.
In Qatar, the index (.QSI) closed 0.2% higher, helped by a 1% rise in Qatar National Bank (QNBK.QA), the Gulf’s biggest lender.
Soft US economic data last week has fueled rate cut bets, pushing Treasury yields lower and equity markets higher.
Monetary policy in the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is usually guided by decisions of the US Federal Reserve, as most regional currencies are pegged to the dollar.
Outside the Gulf, Egypt’s blue-chip index (.EGX30) rose 2.1%, boosted by a 3.8% rise in Commercial International Bank (CIB) (COMI.CA).
CIB, Egypt’s largest private bank, has received a $150 million loan from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to strengthen its capital base, it said in a statement on Thursday.
International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva told Reuters on Friday that the fund is “seriously considering” a possible increase in Egypt’s $3 billion loan program due to economic difficulties arising from the Israel-Hamas war.
Reporting by Atiq Sharif in Bengaluru; Editing by Alex Richardson
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