Gulf stocks expected to rise

Gulf stocks expected to rise
Published: 15 February 2017 - 6 a.m.
By: Reuters

Gulf stock markets may rise in line with a global trend on Wednesday, with Dubai's stock index continuing to rebound from technical support.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan is up 0.8 percent after Wall Street hit record highs overnight on the back of bank stocks. Brent oil is at $55.68 a barrel, in the centre of the range of the last three months.

The Dubai index, which added 0.4 percent to 3,653 points on Tuesday, tested and held support on the end-January low of 3,613 points in early trade, so a continued recovery from that support would not be surprising. Trading volume spiked when the index was rising on Tuesday, a positive technical sign.

Emaar Properties' fourth-quarter net profit came in at the high end of expectations; it reported a profit of 1.61 billion dirhams ($439 million), up from 1.03 billion dirhams in the same period of 2015, while revenues were up 16 percent.

SICO Bahrain had forecast Emaar would make a quarterly profit of 1.32 billion dirhams while EFG Hermes had forecast 1.64 billion dirhams. However, the profit was boosted by a write-back of a 301 million dirham provision for the costs of a fire at one of Emaar's hotels.

The economic picture appears to be improving in Egypt, with yields falling as foreign portfolio investors return to Egyptian fixed income, but the stock market's moves this week suggest it's vulnerable to profit-taking after its bull run.

The index fell 1.9 percent to 12,504 points on Tuesday, closing below technical support at its early February low of 12,578 points; a second straight day of losses would confirm a break, triggering a double top formed by the highs of January and February which would point down to around 11,500 points

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