Saudi bourse makes positive start to 2022 despite Omicron-surge; Egypt falls



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Saudi bourse makes positive start to 2022 despite Omicron-surge; Egypt falls

On Sunday, in a thin-volume trading session, major Gulf bourses had wrapped up the day mostly higher, opening up 2022 in a jubilant note despite an abrupt uptick in pandemic cases, mostly driven by a newly identified Omicron variant - the most contagious pandemic variant so far - as recent studies had unveiled that the patients infected with Omicron would less likely to require hospitalization.

Aside from that, although UK and a number of EU member states had been witnessing a tidal wave of Omicron cases, healthcare systems across the Europe appeared to be handling the cohort with precise control as patients were reportedly requiring less hospitalization, eventually boosting up morale among Gulf investors.

On top of that, as major Central Banks in G20 nations were looking to address a whacking upsurge in inflation indicators while nursing pandemic-induced fiscal wounds, bank stocks led the tally of gains in the day’s Gulf market closure.

Gulf stocks end higher as Saudi leads the charge

Citing statistics, in the day’s Gulf market wind-down, Saudi’s benchmark index rose 0.5 per cent with the resource-rich Kingdom’s leading lenders like of Al-Rajhi Bank alongside Alinma Bank surging as much as 1 per cent and 3.5 per cent respectively.

Outside the Gulf, Egypt’s blue-chip index slid 0.2 per cent as the country’s only cigarette manufacturer tumbled 0.8 per cent. Elsewhere in the Gulf, Qatari bourse closed nearly dithered, as gains in financial stocks had been eclipsed by the losses in industrials, while Islamic Sharia-based lender Masraf Al Rayan soared 4.3 per cent and Industries Qatar shed 1.4 per cent.

UAE and other major Gulf markets were closed due to a national holiday.