Tadawul edges up slightly; Gulf markets stabilize

Tadawul edges up slightly; Gulf markets stabilize
Updated 18 January 2016

Tadawul edges up slightly; Gulf markets stabilize

Tadawul edges up slightly; Gulf markets stabilize

DUBAI: Gulf stock markets stabilized on Monday after registering heavy losses the previous few days, but the mood remained nervous after Brent oil briefly slumped below $28 a barrel to its lowest level since 2003.
The Saudi Tadawul All-Share Index, which had tumbled 5.4 percent on Sunday, flip-flopped between positive and negative territory before closing 0.1 percent higher at 5,525 points.
Saudi Basic Industries Corp., the Kingdom's largest company by market value, fell as low as SR60.00 after reporting a 29.4 percent drop in fourth-quarter net profit caused by lower prices for its products, missing analysts' forecasts. But it came off its low to close at SR63.00, a 3.5 percent decline.
National Shipping Co. (Bahri), the exclusive oil shipper for oil giant Saudi Aramco, fell 10 percent in a second day of heavy trade. Bahri had gained 5.9 percent on Sunday before reporting a huge jump in fourth-quarter net profit that exceeded analysts' forecasts.
Most other oil-linked stocks also retreated as petrochemical companies' earnings were weak and crude prices continued to test fresh lows.
But the banking sector, the largest sector by value on the exchange, firmed with Riyad Bank rising 1.4 percent.
The Kingdom's fourth-largest lender by assets said it had reached a preliminary agreement to sell land in the second largest city, Jeddah, for SR202.5 million ($54 million).
Saudi Electricity Co. jumped 5.8 percent.
Egypt's main index rebounded 3.1 percent, trimming this year's losses to 15.2 percent as most stocks advanced more than 1.0 percent.
Foreign fund managers, who have been aggressively cashing out of Cairo's market, remained net sellers on Monday, bourse data showed. But local and regional investors bought on dips.
The two most traded stocks were Orascom Telecom and investment firm Qalaa Holdings, which surged 5.8 and 8.3 percent.
Dubai's index could not sustain an early rebound, closing 0.3 percent down at 2,678 points, off its intra-day high of 2,756. Gainers outnumbered losers 20 to 11, however.
Builders Arabtec and Drake & Scull advanced 1.9 percent and 2.5 percent; Drake had hit a record low on Sunday. Gulf General Investment, an industrial conglomerate, was the top gainer, surging 6.6 percent in unusually heavy trade.
Abu Dhabi's bourse erased most of its early gains but still managed to close up 0.2 percent, trimming its losses this year to 11.9 percent.
Blue-chip lenders First Gulf Bank and Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank jumped 3.5 and 1.9 percent. Abu
In Qatar, the benchmark index edged down 0.1 percent as early gains fizzled out; blue-chip banks sold off late in the session.