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ADX index at highest level in three years

(8/7/2018 5:30:00 AM)

Gains in energy and banking stocks lifted the Abu Dhabi index to its highest level in almost three years, while financial stocks lifted Kuwaiti shares, as the two markets led gains across most Gulf exchanges on Monday.

The Abu Dhabi index ended 1.6 per cent higher at 4,884 points, the highest mark since late July 2015. The Abu Dhabi National Energy Co (Taqa) surged 4.2 per cent and First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) rose 3.3 per cent.

Taqa was partly helped by oil prices, which rose on Monday after Saudi crude production unexpectedly fell in July and US drilling appeared to slow, although the price is still almost 10 per cent below its 2018 high of more than $80 a barrel.

“Blue chips such as FAB, Etisalat are getting more attention of investors who for some reason have more confidence in Abu Dhabi because of its oil wealth,” said Tariq Qaqish, managing director at asset management firm Menacorp.

Telecom firm Etisalat rose 0.3 per cent. Abu Dhabi’s index is up 11 per cent year-to-date, while Dubai’s main index remained flat on Monday.

Kuwait stocks rose 0.5 per cent, lifted by buying in banking stocks. National Bank of Kuwait and Kuwait Finance House both rose about 1 per cent each. HSBC raised the target price for National Bank of Kuwait to 0.93 dinars ($3.07), compared to its previous target price of 0.84 dinars. Shares of National Bank of Kuwait were last trading at 0.83 dinars.

The Saudi index fell 0.2 per cent as investors booked profits in key blue-chip stocks after recent gains, however selective buying was seen in comsumer-related stocks.

Saudi retailer and mall operator Fawaz Abdulaziz Alhokair Co jumped 5.8 per cent, extending gains a day after posting a quarterly net profit of 249.2 million riyals ($66.45 million) versus 232.4 million riyals one year earlier.

Food company Almarai also rose 0.9 per cent. Bupa Arabia for Cooperative Insurance Co, rose 1.8 per cent, extending gains from a day earlier when it soared 10 per cent after posting strong second-quarter earnings.

“It is not so much a shift into midcaps but more of bottom fishing in beaten down stocks, especially in the consumer sector,” said Vrajesh Bhandari, a portfolio manager at Al Mal Capital.

The Gulf Today