Egypt, Oman rally; other regional markets quiet
Egyptian stocks worst-hit by the country's political turmoil rallied and Oman's bourse also gained on Sunday, while other regional markets were little changed ahead of first-quarter results.
Dubai's index fell 0.1 per cent while Abu Dhabi's index rose 0.06 per cent.
Developer Arabtec, slated to have annual meeting later on Sunday, was the most traded stock in Dubai and gained 1.8 per cent. Emaar Properties fell 0.6 per cent.
In Abu Dhabi, Aldar Properties gained 1.3 per cent and Sorouh Real Estate climbing 3 per cent.
Investors expected a decision on emerging market status for UAE and Qatar markets by the end of first-quarter as index compiler MSCI is set to review the countries in June.
"What's going to play (a role) in ADX and DFM is the implementation of MSCI review," said Julian Bruce of EFG-Hermes.
Egypt's index ended 1.7 per cent higher, its fifth gain in seven sessions, buoyed by turmoil-hit stocks recovery.
Real estate stocks led gainers as all but three stocks on the index rose. Talaat Moustafa and Palm Hills Development jumped 5.5 per cent and 9.7 per cent respectively while SODIC surged 10 per cent.
"The stocks have been badly hit by political turmoil and people are making use of cheap prices," said Teymour el Derini from Naeem Brokerage.
Analysts said they expected a correction after first-quarter after earnings.
"Most companies are expected to see severe blows to their financials," said investment analyst Nader Khedr.
Oman's index rose 1 per cent, rebounding from Thursday's month-low as Bank Muscat helped the benchmark to a higher close.
The lender surged 5.3 per cent on institutional buying.
"Bank Muscat was under a lot of pressure, and extremely under-valued," said Adel Nasr, United Securities brokerage manager.
Renaissance Services climbed 1.5 per cent as foreign institutions bought into the stock, snapping a nine-session fall.
The stock took a beating last week after the firm postponed a London-listing of marine unit Topaz.
Saudi Arabia's index eased from Saturday's seven-week peak, but further gains are forecast with petrochemical and banking sectors seen as the main boost.
The petrochemicals index added 0.3 per cent, with oil's 30-month high on Friday boosting sentiment.
"The rally could continue (from Saturday) for the coming week, given that oil prices are robust and people are expecting healthy quarterly results," said John Sfakianakis, chief economist at Banque Saudi Fransi in Riyadh.
Heavyweight lender Al-Rajhi Bank rose 0.7 per cent, but Riyad Bank slipped 0.8 per cent.
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