Qatar fails to hold last week's gains, Oman slips on poor earnings
Early gains for Arabian Gulf bourses following strong global trend
Most Gulf stock markets edged up early on Sunday in line with a strong trend for global equities, though Qatar pulled back after last week's strong rebound and weak corporate earnings hurt Oman.
The Saudi index climbed 0.5 per cent in the first half-hour in a broad rally, with advancing stocks outnumbering decliners by 124 to 20. Banque Saudi Fransi added 2.6 per cent.
Dubai's index gained 0.3 per cent as Union Properties, the most heavily traded stock, rose 0.4 per cent.
Abu Dhabi edged up 0.2 per cent as Dana Gas climbed 1.5 per cent; in a statement, the company described recent decisions by London's High Court, which had been previously reported by Reuters, as favourable for its effort to restructure US$700 million of outstanding sukuk.
Ajman Bank gained 2.6 per cent despite reporting a moderate fall in second-quarter net profit; operating income actually rose slightly.
Qatar's index fell back 1.1 per cent with Qatar National Bank, the biggest lender, losing 1.4 per cent. Last week, the index rebounded strongly as it became clear that the economic impact of sanctions imposed by neighbouring Arab states on Qatar was not as damaging as some had feared.
Oman dropped 0.5 per cent as a string of weak earnings showed the strain that low oil prices and government austerity measures have placed on the economy.
Raysut Cement slipped 0.8 per cent after reporting that first-half net profit shrank by nearly two-thirds from a year earlier, with turnover also dropping.
Oman Telecommunications sank 3.3 per cent after reporting a 39 per cent fall in first-half profit, with revenue stagnant.
Bank Dhofar lost 3.2 per cent after first-half consolidated net profit shrank 13 per cent, and National Gas plunged its daily 10 per cent limit in very thin trade after it said first-half profit more than halved.