JEDDAH - Arab stock markets are expected to be volatile in the coming weeks with the advent of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan and publication of third-quarter company results, financial analysts said Friday.
“I believe regional markets will be volatile during the month of Ramadan, when investors usually prefer to stay on the sidelines,” Wajdi Makhamreh, chief operating officer at the Amman-based Sanabel International Holding, told DPA.
Saudi shares extended gains this week as the market reacted positively to the announcement by the Capital Market Authority (CMA) that allowed authorized persons to enter into swap agreements with non-resident foreign investors.
The Tadawul All Share Index (TASI) of the Arab world’s largest bourse gained 5.1 percent this week, closing at 8,898.97 compared to 8,465.7 last week.
TASI is currently 19.4 percent lower than the year’s start, according to the weekly report of the Riyadh-based Bakheet Investment Group (BIG).
The market was led by the banking and financial services, petrochemical industries and telecommunications sectors, the report said.
BIG expected the Saudi stock exchange to ‘perform steadily in the coming days as investors monitor the third-quarter results of listed firms particularly blue chips’.
Jordanian shares rebounded strongly after last week’s plunge which Makhamreh attributed mainly to the selling of stocks by foreigners, who moved to other more profitable markets like the United States.
The recovery was led by the Arab Potash Co., the Jordan Phosphate Mines Co. and the Jordan Petroleum Refinery.
The all-share price index of the Amman Stock Exchange gained 6.87 per cent, to close at 4,317 compared to last week’s close at 4.040, according to the ASE weekly report.
Kuwaiti stocks lost some ground as speculation continued to affect decisions of investors. The KSE all-share price index shed 0.6 percent, closing at 14,499. The benchmark of the United Arab Emirates stock exchanges of Dubai and Abu Dhabi declined 1.5 percent to close the week at 5,337.
Egyptian shares received a boost from foreign buying of leading stocks, analysts said. Egypt’s CASE 30 index, which measures the performance of the market’s 30 most active firms, gained 4.9 per to end the week at 8,375.
Omani shares have witnessed the biggest weekly decline among all Gulf markets going down 7.1 percent, while Saudi’s market was the biggest winner with 5.1 percent, followed by Bahrain at 0.11 percent. Doha market was the second biggest loser, going down 5.3 percent followed by Dubai 2 percent, ADX 0.88 percent and KSE 0.61 percent.
DFM and Doha fell after regaining some of their weekly losses.
For the second consecutive day, Muscat fell by 1.8 percent with total losses of 7 percent, while Kuwait managed to lower its losses before the closing of the session, going down by 0.12 percent. Bahrain rose slightly by 0.20 percent.
UAE shares have lost AED11.3 billion by the end of this week, with total losses of AED27.3 billion in two weeks, while the general index fell by 1.48 percent.
The total trading value for Dubai and Abu Dhabi reached AED6 billion including AED3.5 billion for Dubai and AED2.5 billion for Abu Dhabi.
Emaar traded AED938 million and fell by 0.84 percent over the week to reach AED9.43, while Fujairah for Building Materials topped the rising shares with 9.9 percent. – DPA