Saudi stocks snap four days of trending down

Dubai: Saudi Arabian stocks snapped four days of consecutive losses with banking shares leading the advances while other GCC markets also traded higher as their lenders rebounded from a lacklustre performance in the previous session.

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index edged 0.1 per cent at 9,848 points with Alrajhi Bank and Riyad Bank moving upward by 0.8 and 2 per cent respectively. However, the gains were limited by weakness in material shares as petrochemical maker Sabic sagged 2.2 per cent as investors buying it on Wednesday will not entitle for the last declared payout and those selling it will do as the stock was trading ex-dividend.

The dairy firm Almarai dropped 1.7 per cent on the ex-dividend date. Almarai also came under selling pressure earlier this week as investors reacted to its performance in the first quarter where it failed to improve on the profits which came in less than a per cent higher from a year ago.

Earnings weigh on trade

Oman's 30-company index moved fractionally downward as investors looked unimpressed with the first-quarter corporate results. Raysut Cement took a dive by 9.9 per cent though the previously loss-making company broke its negative growth cycle but it had to be content with meagre profit numbers of around OR102,000. That compared with a loss of OR 4 million reported for the corresponding period last year.

Phoenix Power slipped 2 per cent on the backdrop of OR4.9 million of losses for the first three month of the year. Renaissance Services dropped 1.6 per cent as its quarterly profit shrank to OR2.1 million form OR3.2 million a year earlier. The firms did not provide factors on play behind their lacklustre performance but the demand apparently fell short of returning back to pre-pandemic level.

Banks back to winning ways

Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange ended the day higher by 0.3 per cent at 6,039 points, buoyed by the banking stocks. Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, First Abu Dhabi Bank rebounded, while Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank bounced back from a 5 per cent plunge in the last session when it traded ex-dividend. The index encountered some resistance from likes of Dana Gas and Abu Dhabi National Energy that slipped 0.9 and 1.4 per cent, respectively.

Dubai Financial Market edged up 0.2 per cent at 2,570 points, boosted almost single-handedly by its largest lender, Emirates NBD, that jumped 2.2 per cent to more than compensate for the losses in industrial and real estate stocks. The lender has had a decent run of gains so far this year, accumulating around 14 per cent after its full-year results topped most of market expectations.

Lenders impress everywhere

Qatar Exchange outperformed the GCC peers by surging 1.2 per cent at 10,605 points. Lenders rebounded here too with Qatar Islamic Bank, Qatar Commercial Bank and Qatar International Islamic Bank being top three contributors to the index gains. Banks also propelled Bahrain shares higher by 0.3 per cent as Alahli United Bank and Bank of Bahrain and Kuwait traded on top of the list. Kuwait premier index was no different where too the banking pack led the advances.

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