x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Rising oil prices push up Emirates bourses

Markets Update: UAE bourses rise at the open, as oil trades above $100 a barrel - with video.

Abu Dhabi and Dubai shares advanced at the open, led by higher oil.

The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange General Index was up 0.3 per cent to 2630.37 points, while the Dubai Financial Market General Index was up 1 per cent to 1550.68 points. Benchmark oil for July delivery was up 66 cents to $101.25 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. London Brent crude rose 0.7 per cent to $115.50.

"Higher oil prices are supporting our local markets," said Julian Bruce, equity sales head at EFG-Hermes in Dubai.

Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank was up 1 per cent ahead of its board of director meeting to take place today to discuss bidders for its 25 per cent stake in Malaysia's RHB Capital.

Qatar's index was down 0.6 per cent to 8300.72, for the third consecutive day. The country's exchange said foreign ownership limits, a key requirement by MSCI, will remain at 25 per cent. Market participants had speculated that the country would relax its ownership limits to 49 per cent. Qatar and the UAE are candidates to be upgraded to emerging markets status from frontier status. An announcement by MSCI is expected on June 21.

"We find ourselves faced with the unlikely prospect of Qatar being excluded from any MSCI upgrade, while the UAE has technically ticked all the boxes required," Mr Bruce said.

Elsewhere in the region, Kuwait's measure was unchanged at 6379.00. Bahrain's index was up 0.2 per cent to 1350.34. Oman's measure added 0.5 per cent to 5992.78. The Saudi Tadawul All-Share Index was down 0.3 per cent to 6732.96.