(MENAFN - The Peninsula) CAIRO/DUBAI: Egypts bourse rose for a third day after renewed foreign interest yesterday as Middle East markets were mixed, with investors awaiting first-quarter results.
Egypts main index rose 3 percent on heavy appetite from local investors and renewed interest from foreigners, in a fifth day of trading following a shutdown of over seven weeks due to a popular revolt against former President Hosni Mubarak.
Omans index fell to a 12-day low after Renaissance Services fell 6.6 percent on talk it may delay a 500m London listing of its Dubai-based unit Topaz.
There was a statement from the CEO that the IPO can be deferred till starting next year if the recent events in the Middle East affect the valuation of Topaz, investment bank EFG-Hermes wrote in a research note. If the Topaz IPO goes through, we will see a strong comeback for the Oman market, said Adel Nasr of United Securities. Egypts Orascom Telecom climbed 9.3 percent after the firm said it would seek shareholder approval for a capital increase and a split of the company.
Russias Vimpelcom expects to complete its more than 6bn deal for assets of Egyptian tycoon Naguib Sawiris, chairman of Orascom Telecom, within a month, Vimpelcoms chief executive said yesterday. Saudi Arabias benchmark rose for a seventh session in nine, with bluechips ending mixed. The real estate index hit a six-week high, extending gains on renewed speculation that a long-awaited mortgage law would be approved soon. Real estate stocks may have an effect for next two days on the mortgage law, said a Riyadh-based trader who asked not to be identified. I would be cautious on real estate numbers. We could see some weakness. In the long-term, they are good, but people are short-term here.
Qatar index up
Dubais index gave back early-session gains, with Emaar Properties surprise dividend providing only a short-term lift. Emaar rose 0.3 percent after shareholders approved a surprising 10 percent cash dividend, its first since 2008.
Emaar wanted to preserve cash for a rainy day and it has some short-term refinancing risk we cant ignore, said Jad Abbas, EFG-Hermes real estate analyst.
The developer has debt worth Dh4.5bn (1.2bn) maturing in 2011, Abbas said.
We expect most of this to be rolled over, he said, adding that 2011 should be a relatively good year for the developer as it shifts towards its international operations. Abu Dhabis index edged up, taking its March gains to 1.8 percent. Developers with Aldar and Sorouh Real Estate gained 1.3 and 3.3 percent respectively.
The Qatar Exchange yesterday was slightly up with 25.65 points to 8,398.64 points from 8,372.99 on Monday. The volume of shares traded up to 16,467,470 from 8,690,919 on Monday, and the value of shares increased to QR465,166,099.54 from QR336,058,515.26.
Top gainers were Qatar National Bank which was up 5.26 percent to QR14.62, Barwa rose 1.91 percent to QR134.60, Doha Bank gained 1.79 percent to QR57.00, Qatar Insurance by 2.17 percent to QR80.10 and United Dev. Company which was up 1.83 percent to QR22.29.
The Qatar Banking and Financial sector up 46.61 points and the Insurance sector added 38.07 points. The Qatar industrial sector gained 146.94 points and the Services sector rose 0.17 points. Kuwaits index rose 0.3 percent to 6,323 points. while Bahrain dropped 0.09 percent to 1,427 points. US stocks were higher in early trade yesterday, shrugging off new data on national home prices and consumer sentiment that suggested the economic recovery was meeting stiff headwinds.
At 1415 GMT the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 27.97 points (0.23 percent) to 12,225.85.
The broad-based S&P 500 index added 1.37 points (0.10 percent) at 1,311.56, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite rose 11.97 points (0.44 percent) to 2,742.65.
Investors took little note of new data showing weaknesses in the economic recovery, but still had their eyes on global trends, said analysts. The Conference Board said its consumer confidence index fell from 70.4 percent in February to 63.4 percent, casting a cloud over hopes for an improved economy.
Rising food and energy prices appear to have eroded confidence that had reached a three-year high a month earlier. Consumers inflation expectations rose significantly in March and their income expectations soured, said the Conference Boards Lynn Franco.
Meanwhile the S&P/Case-Shiller index for 20 main US cities showed prices fell by 3.1 percent at an annualized rate in January and S&P said they appeared to be heading lower than the market bottom in early April 2009.
Europe narrowly mixed
European stock markets closed narrowly mixed yesterday after an uneven set of economic data with investors carefully watching events in Japan, the Middle East and eurozone struggler Portugal.
In London, the FTSE 100 index of leading shares closed up 0.47 percent to 5,932.17 points. In Paris, the CAC 40 gained 0.27 percent to 3,987.80 points but in Frankfurt the DAX slipped 0.06 percent to 6,934.44 points.
Dealers said investors appeared to adjusting positions ahead of key US jobs data due Friday which will set the tone and put recent weaker figures in perspective.
IG Index trader Yusuf Heusen in London said trade was subdued ahead of the end of the month and also the first quarter when books will be closed. The situation in Japan clearly remains critical, so traders will be keeping a watchful eye on further developments ... (while) oil prices are easing on news that the rebels in Libya are making further progress.
In Paris, Renaud Murail at Barclays Bourse said prices were holding up well. It is difficult to find rational reasons for this latest rise ... dealers are being prudent, he said, noting that volumes were thin which usually makes for wider price swings.
Elsewhere in Europe, Amsterdam added 0.37 percent, Brussels rose 0.40 percent, Madrid slipped 0.15 percent, Milan dropped 1.04 percent and Swiss stocks were flat.
In New York, the blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.49 percent at around 1600 GMT and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite gained 0.72 percent.
Dealers there said the gains were surprising given the bad news backdrop and a disappointing reading on consumer confidence - which fell to 63.4 percent for March from 70.4 percent in February, hitting hopes for a strong recovery.
The Conference Board said rising food and energy prices eroded confidence that had reached a three-year high in February.
Consumers inflation expectations rose significantly in March and their income expectations soured, said the Conference Boards Lynn Franco.
In Asian trade earlier yesterday, markets were hit by fresh concerns about Fukushima after plutonium was detected in soil around the plant while highly contaminated water has leaked from a reactor.
Tokyo fell sharply at one stage but finished the day down 0.21 percent, with Shanghai off 0.87 percent and Hong Kong flat while resilient Sydney added 0.47 percent.