Local stock markets opened higher this morning to start the week in the green, after a strong performance on the Saudi Arabian Tadawul yesterday.
Saudi Arabian shares advanced the most in seven months as rising oil prices lifted petrochemicals companies and offset weaker-than-estimated United States' housing data.
The Tadawul All Share Index climbed 1.8 per cent, the steepest increase since August 13, to 7,675.61, at the close in Riyadh yesterday. Ten shares rose for every stock that fell. The 152 member index has gained 20 per cent this year.
UAE bourses opened higher in response. The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange General Index was up 0.14 per cent to 2,571.94 in early trading. The Dubai Financial Markets General Index was up 0.54 per cent to 1,669.19.
Emaar Properties, the Dubai developer, helped lift the Dubai bourse gaining 0.67 per cent to Dh3.02 a share. The company announced today revenue from apartment sales plunged 85 per cent last year.
Emaar posted a 27 per cent decline in full-year profit on February 14 and provided a breakdown of revenue today. Income from apartment sales dropped to 1.11 billion dirhams from 7.56 billion dirhams a year earlier, according today's statement. Villa sales climbed 85 per cent during the period to 959 million dirhams from 517.3 million dirhams.
The company said the money owed by Amlak Finance, the mortgage lender being reorganized by the UAE government, was lowered last year to 595 million dirhams from 712 million dirhams a year earlier. The amount is unsecured and earns an average return ranging from 3.13 percent to 4 percent a year compared with 4 percent to 4.5 per cent in 2010, it said.
Emirates Investment Bank announced full year profits of Dh22.3m for 2011, an increase of 10 per cent compared to a year earlier.
European and American stocks ended the weekly trading session on Friday in retreat, amid weaker-than-estimated United States housing data and reports showing manufacturing contracted in Europe and China.
Standard & Poor's 500 Index declined the most since December. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index also saw the biggest drop since the start of the year. Analysts said the correction on the negative data was normal after what had become some complacency about the rally in equity markets so far this year.