Saudi Arabia’s stock market ended higher on Sunday in response to Friday’s sharp rise in oil prices, while the Egyptian index slipped into negative territory following a recent rally.
Crude prices — a key driver of the Gulf’s financial markets, settled up by more than 5% on Friday amid uncertainty around future interest rate hikes by the US Federal Reserve, while a looming EU ban on Russian oil and the possibility of China easing some COVID restrictions supported markets.
The Tadawul All Share Index gained 0.7%, led by a 1.6% jump in oil giant Saudi Aramco and a 0.5% increase in Al Rajhi Bank.
The Kingdom is considering setting up a new metals and mining stock exchange index as it looks to expand its resources sector to diversify away from hydrocarbons, a senior government official said.
Saudi Arabian Mining Company was up 1.5%.
The minister of industry and mineral resources Bandar Alkhorayef said that Saudi Arabia is investigating the possibility of setting up a new metals and mining stock exchange index.
Alkhorayef said the separate index for mining would help put more focus on Saudi’s mining industry, and will enable them to benchmark it with markets like Australia, the UK and others.
“The idea is to help the sector grow faster. We definitely see a need for small and medium firms in the sector to access capital through capital markets,” he said.
In Qatar, the index finished 0.8% higher, with Qatar National Bank, the Gulf’s biggest lender, rising 1.9%.
The Qatari bourse recorded an increase with natural gas prices continuing their rebound, said Daniel Takieddine, CEO MENA at BDSwiss.
“Demand for the commodity could pick up if temperatures decline with winter approaching, supporting the stock market at the same time.”
On Friday, ratings agency S&P raised Qatar’s long-term sovereign credit rating to “AA” from “AA-“, citing improvements in the government’s fiscal position.
Qatar, which hosts the 2022 FIFA World Cup this month, is one of the world’s largest exporters of natural gas and has benefited from huge windfalls from soaring global oil and gas prices.
Outside the Gulf, Egypt’s blue-chip index, EGX30, lost 0.7%, hit by a 0.3% fall in Commercial International Bank despite reporting an increase in quarterly profit.