JEDDAH – Gulf Arab markets were mixed, taking their cue from an upbeat opening in Asia before some gave back gains as European stocks declined.
Saudi shares retreated, slipping from Sunday’s 12-month peak as retail investors opted to lock in recent gains, while Qatar’s benchmark rose 0.03 percent at 8,726 points for a ninth session since late-January’s three-month low as traders shrugged off their disappointment over bank dividends to accumulate shares at lower prices.
Saudi stock benchmark Tadawul All Share Index inched down 0.3 percent to close at 6,738.91 points Monday.
"I’m quite convinced that most of what we see in the region is sentiment-driven on the back of the global market tone becoming much better than it was last year," said Mashreq’s Masood. "As long as we keep getting positive news from Europe and good numbers from the US, this should continue. Our rally isn’t a localized phenomenon."
Dubai’s index climbed 0.6 percent to 1,476 points, a five-month closing high, but failed to hold above 1,500 points, which is seen by investors as an important hurdle.
"These psychological levels are ridiculous really, but there are people who look at these and believe they are significant and that’s all it takes," said Ibrahim Masood, senior investment officer at Mashreq bank. – SG