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Jan. 5 (Reuters) – Most Gulf stock markets ended higher on Wednesday, following the rise in oil prices, with investors ignoring the impact of an increase in COVID-19 cases caused by the Omicron variant.
Crude prices, a key catalyst for Gulf financial markets, have held steady near $ 80 a barrel after OPEC + producers stuck to an agreed production increase target for February.
OPEC + producers, which include members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries as well as Russia and others, agreed on Tuesday to add an additional 400,000 barrels per day in February, as they did every month since August. Read more
Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index (.TASI) rose 0.9%, boosted by a 2.7% rise from the country’s largest lender, Saudi National Bank (1180.SE) and an increase 1.4% of petrochemicals maker Saudi Basic Industries Corp (2010.SE).
The kingdom recorded 2,585 new infections on Tuesday, against 1,000 cases announced on Sunday. It is still below a peak of over 4,700 in June 2020. read more
The Qatari index (.QSI) climbed 1.8% as nearly all stocks in the index were in positive territory, including petrochemicals maker Industries Qatar (IQCD.QA).
Elsewhere, utility Qatar Electricity and Water Company closed 1.1% after its subsidiary signed an agreement to acquire 40% stake in energy investment firm Nebras Power for $ 530 million. Read more
Dubai’s main stock index (.DFMGI) rose 0.3%, helped by a 1.4% gain from leading developer Emaar Properties (EMAR.DU).
Middle Eastern crude benchmarks Oman and Dubai extended their gains on Wednesday after OPEC + decided to continue ramping up production.
The Abu Dhabi Index (.ADI) finished flat.
Outside the Gulf, the Egyptian blue chip index (.EGX30) gained 0.5%, led by a 2.2% increase in tobacco monopoly Eastern Co (EAST.CA).
Egypt’s draft budget for fiscal year 2022/23 aims to achieve economic growth of 5.7% as the government seeks to keep expansion on track, Finance Minister Mohamed Maiit said in a statement on Wednesday. . Read more
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