Earnings power Saudi stocks gains

Dubai: Saudi Arabian stocks displayed some strength on the back of a couple of robust corporate earnings, while other GCC markets moved little as investors brace for paced-up earnings announcements later this week.

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index edged up 0.1 per at 10,142 points with gains spread across most sectors, but the banking stocks displayed a lacklustre performance after the results-driven recent rally sparked profit-booking.

Saudi Kayan Petrochemical jumped 4 per cent after the company swung into first-quarter profits, which amounted to SR493 million in what was a stark reversal from SR517 million reported in losses a year earlier. The firm credited the turnaround on increase in average selling prices and decrease in financing costs. Saudi Telecom gained after its bottom-line fractionally improved and topline posted around 13 per cent spike for the first quarter.

Some property shares dip on profit-taking

Dubai Financial Market closed the session nearly unchanged at 2,627 points with financial and real estate stocks pulling the index in opposite ways. Almak Finance, Emirates NBD, Damac Properties and Union Properties traded upward extending their gains after strong sectoral earnings. On the other hand, Emaar Properties and Emaar Development headed lower with the recent rally prompting investors into booking profits in volatile market conditions.

Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange advanced 0.3 per cent to close at 6,117 points. The heavyweight telecom firm Etisalat contributed the most to the index gains by climbing 1 per cent after announcing its board of directors would meet later this week to approve first-quarter results. The firm had posted robust full-year earnings and the investors hope it will repeat the same performance for the first three months of the year as well. First Abu Dhabi Bank also edged up adding to its gains after the earnings and outlook announcement.

Lender weighs ahead of results

Qatar Exchange reversed morning losses on the back of blue-chip advances with Industries Qatar and Mesaieed Petrochemical heading upward. But the gains were capped by weakness in the banking stocks that nearly all pulled back, led by Qatar Commercial Bank dropping 0.9 per cent ahead of the first-quarter results planned for later in the day.

Kuwait premier index retreated 0.5 per cent at 6,555 points with Human Soft Holding plunging over 12 per cent as the stock was trading ex-dividend meaning the investors have already secured their last-declared dividends even if they sell out their positions. Oman's30-company index moved slightly up on the strength of the telecom firms while Bahrain shares traded little changed with financial and material stocks moving sideways.

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