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MENAFN - Arab News - 17/03/2012

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(MENAFN - Arab News) Arab stock markets, excluding Egyptian shares, extended gains last week buoyed by dividend distributions and ahead of the first quarter results, financial analysts said yesterday.

They expected Arab bourses to rally further in the coming weeks, making benefit from encouraging reports about an economic recovery in the world's major economies and rising oil prices.

Kuwaiti shares extended gains for the 10th consecutive week propelled by a wave of optimism that followed last month's early elections.

Kuwait's KSE all-share index gained 0.4 percent last week led by the real estate and investment sectors, and closing at 6,200 points.

"The gains came due to the wave of optimism that has come to dominate the market and helped to push up prices of leading shares," Kuwaiti analyst Maitham Al-Shakhs said.

The United Arab Emirates markets rebounded strongly last week due to foreign buying after the earlier week's losses.

The benchmarks of the stock exchanges of Dubai and Abu Dhabi gained 4.5 percent and 2.5 percent on weekly basis, to close respectively at 1,683 points and 2,626 points.

Qatar's benchmark gained 0.8 percent on weekly basis, closing at 8,660 points while Bahrain's all-share index closed 0.8 percent in the red at 1,152 points.

Muscat's all-share index gained 1.6 percent last week, to close at 5,951 points.

Jordanian shares were volatile last week, mainly due to the delay on the part of the government to take steps to address the country's economic situation, analysts said.

The all-share index of the Amman Stock Exchange (ASE) closed almost unchanged at 1,992 points.

Egyptian stocks fluctuated violently last week reflecting the country's nervous political situation that reflected on investors, analysts said.

Egypt's AGX30 index, which measures the performance of the market's 30 most active stocks, plunged 4.2 percent on weekly basis, closing at 5,169 points.

"The violent movement of prices last week reflects deep concern on the part of investors," said Mustafa Adel, CEO of the Tycoon investment group.

However, he described the ups and downs of the market as "a healthy move that allows a breath-taking opportunity for investors" ahead of the presidential elections.


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