Dubai stock market outperforms region amid surge in oil prices

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Major Gulf stock markets finished higher on Monday amid a surge in oil prices, with Dubai outperforming the region, led by property and banking stocks.

Oil prices touched multi-month highs on expectations OPEC and allied producers will cap output at current levels in February and on hopes that vaccines will curb the spread of the coronavirus.

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Most OPEC+ countries would like to postpone a planned increase in oil output from February, because fuel demand is weakening amid new global lockdowns, three OPEC+ sources said on Monday.

Sentiment was also aided by encouraging global manufacturing data. Surveys showed manufacturing across Europe grew at the end of 2020. Asian factory activity expanded thanks to Chinese demand.

Dubai closed 2.9 percent higher, marking the benchmark’s biggest single-day gain since June 7. Dubai’s largest listed developer, Emaar Properties, was the top gainer, adding 5.3 percent. Its biggest bank, Emirates NBD, rose 4.3 percent.

The sharia-compliant lender Dubai Islamic Bank gained 1.8 percent. Real estate company Damac Properties rose 3.8 percent.

In Abu Dhabi, the index gained on 0.7 percent, led by the United Arab Emirates’ largest lender, First Abu Dhabi Bank, which rose nearly 1 percent. Telecoms company Etisalat closed the session 0.7 percent higher.

Both Dubai and Abu Dhabi benchmarks have gained for two successive sessions.

Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index closed up 0.6 percent. Al Rajhi Bank gained 1.1 percent.

Saudi Kayan Petrochemical surged 6.4 percent after the Ministry of Energy approved its request to lift ethane allocation by a maximum of 30 million standard cubic feet per day.

The Qatari index advanced 0.4 percent with the Gulf’s largest lender, Qatar National Bank, adding 0.7 percent.

Egypt’s index fell 0.3 percent with country’s largest private lender, Commercial International Bank, falling 0.6 percent.

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