Gulf stocks edge higher but remain volatile


After shedding around $ 250 billion from their market value last month, the Gulf bourses closed mostly higher with the exception of the Saudi bourse which eased slightly.


Analysts blame low investor confidence for the plunge in October and for the continued frequent ups and downs in index levels.


“I believe trading will remain volatile for some time in the Gulf markets … because the problem is psychological,” said Jassem Al-Saadun, head of Kuwait’s Al-Shall Economic Consultants.\The Saudi Tadawul All-Shares Index (TASI) closed down 1.2 percent at 5,800.99 points amid high volatility one day after it rose six percent on the week’s opener on Saturday.


The Saudi bourse, the largest in the Arab world, is open from Saturday until Wednesday, while other Gulf bourses begin their week on Sunday.
The decline came as the leading petrochemicals sector dropped 3.14 percent while banks were down 0.5 percent.


The Doha Securities Market jumped 5.24 percent to close above the key 7,000-point mark, with all sectors rising.


In the United Arab Emirates, the Dubai Financial Market, which was the biggest loser in the Gulf last month, finished up just 0.44 percent, still below the 3,000-point mark, after retreating from a 2.6 percent early rise.


Market leader, property giant Emaar was down 1.1 percent after trading 4.3 percent stronger in the morning.


The other UAE market, Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange, was up 1.5 percent as the leading real estate sector rose 3.5 percent and banks added 2.6 percent.
The Kuwait Stock Exchange, the second largest Arab bourse, also erased most of its initial gains and finished up 0.8 percent having been 1.44 percent higher at the opening.
The leading banks sector, which rose almost one percent at the start, was down 1.9 percent as investors awaited action over the Gulf Bank which encountered losses from derivatives deals.


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