Major Gulf bourses end in black despite Omicron threat



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Major Gulf bourses end in black despite Omicron threat

On Sunday, a basket of Gulf bourses had winded down the day higher, clawing back sharply following previous session’s losses, as mixed December employment data in the US had led to analysts’ belief that the US Fed would more likely to hike rates earlier than anticipated, eventually helping financials and lenders shelve large gains.

On top of that, an increase in crude oil prices, a key indicator to Gulf investors’ morale, in the face of a Kazakh unrest alongside outages in Libyan oilfields, had assisted petrochemical stocks to eke out lofty gains.

Aside from an increase in crude oil prices, a softer US Dollar had turned investors to riskier assets despite a rise in Omicron cases. However, the WHO (World Health Organization) said in a statement later last week that evidences of low hospitalization rates in Omicron infected patients had been rising, eventually allaying investors’ angsts over the variant.

Gulf bourses end modestly higher despite rising Omicron cases

Citing statistics, in the day’s Gulf market closure, Saudi’s benchmark index gained 1.1 per cent with Al Rajhi Bank and Sahara International Petrochemical Company jumping as much as 0.7 per cent and 3.7 per cent respectively.

Nonetheless, UAE bourses shifted to new working week and had been closed on Sunday, however, Abu Dhabi shed 0.2 per cent on Friday and Dubai’s benchmark index added 0.5 per cent. Outside the Gulf, Egypt’s blue-chip index tumbled 0.5 per cent, mostly hurt by a 0.4 per cent decline in the country’s leading lender Commercial International Bank.

Elsewhere on the Gulf, Qatari bourse rose by 0.4 per cent following a 1.6 per cent leapfrog in the shares’ prices of Qatar Islamic Bank, while Mesaieed Petrochemical Co surged 1.7 per cent. Besides, Bahrain and Oman added 0.3 per cent and 0.7 per cent respectively, while Kuwait gained 0.7 per cent.