Gulf stocks rally to reduce January losses

Kuwait City — Stock markets in the energy-rich Gulf states enjoyed a strong rally yesterday on improved oil prices, reducing massive losses suffered in January. Led by the Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Saudi bourses, all seven Gulf markets made gains in the last session of the month but still ended January sharply lower.

The Dubai Financial Market Index surged 4.9 percent yesterday to close the month just under the 3,000-point mark, but remained 4.86 percent below last year’s close.

The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange gained 3.7 percent in the last session of the month to rise above the 4,000-point level but ended January down 5.9 percent.

The Saudi Tadawul All-Shares Index, the largest Arab market, was trading up 3.1 percent above the 6,000-point level at mid-session yesterday, reducing its monthly losses to 12.2 percent.

The Qatar Exchange added 2.26 percent to finish the day on 9.481.30 points. The second largest bourse in the Gulf however closed the month 9.1 percent lower.

The Kuwait Stock Exchange Index increased 2.1 percent yesterday but remained 8.9 percent below the 2015 finish.

The small Muscat Securities Exchange inched up 3.3 percent to cut the month’s losses to 4.2 percent while the Bahrain bourse added 1.3 percent and finished the month 2.4 percent down.

The oil market scored modest gains on Friday, ending a turbulent January that drove prices sharply lower amid worries about the global crude oversupply.

Most of the gains were made after speculation that Russia and Opec may meet to slash crude production to support prices.

Oil income makes over 70 percent of public revenues for the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states. — News 24

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