Saudi bourse leads Gulf rally as oil prices recover

AFP , Tuesday 10 Mar 2020

An investor walks past a screen displaying stock information at the Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul) i
An investor walks past a screen displaying stock information at the Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (Reuters)

Stock markets in the energy-rich Gulf states made a strong rebound on Tuesday, led by the Saudi bourse which jumped 7.1 percent, as oil prices bounced after heavy losses.

Energy giant Aramco, which dominates the Saudi Tadawul market, surged 9.9 percent after a series of sessions in the red where it tumbled below December's listing price.

The sharp rise of Aramco, the world's biggest listed firm, came after the oil producer announced it will boost output by some 2.5 million barrels per day to 12.3 million bpd in April, escalating a price war with Russia.

Dubai Financial Market surged 7.3 percent at close while its sister Abu Dhabi market rose advanced 5.5 percent, partly reversing steep declines in the past two days.

Boursa Kuwait, where trading on its premier index was suspended for two days due to huge losses, rallied 6.6 percent but relinquished all the gains to end the day flat. Qatar stock market finished up 3.3 percent.

The small bourses of Bahrain and Oman rose 1.2 percent and 0.2 percent respectively.

"The main reason for the rebound today was the rise in oil prices," said Mohamed Zidan, market strategist at ThinkMarkets in Dubai.

"But also, prices of some big stocks dropped sharply becoming very lucrative for buyers," Zidan told AFP.

All the Gulf stock markets sustained heavy losses in the past two days, dropping to multi-year lows after oil producers failed to reach an agreement on output cuts in an impasse that sent oil prices crashing.

After Russia rejected calls from oil-exporting cartel OPEC, which includes Saudi Arabia, for deeper output cuts to combat a coronavirus-fuelled slump in demand, Riyadh drove through massive price cuts in a bid to win market share.

As the confrontation flared, oil prices -- the mainstay of public revenues in the Gulf states -- posted the single biggest one-day loss in three decades on Monday with Brent crude sliding to $33 a barrel.

But as Brent gained more than 7.0 percent to around $37 a barrel on Tuesday, energy and global stocks also rebounded in Asian trade, a day after global equities suffered their biggest losses in more than a decade.

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