Dubai stocks advanced the most among Middle Eastern equities as the European Central Bankâ€™s monetary stimulus boosted demand for emerging-market assets, adding fuel to bullish sentiment in the emirate.
The DFM General Index climbed 1.4 percent to 3,401.03, extending four weeks of gains, the longest streak since April. Emirates NBD PJSC, the emirateâ€™s biggest lender, added 4.6 percent to the highest level in three months. Saudi Arabiaâ€™s Tadawul All Share Index rose 0.5 percent at 2:18 p.m. in Riyadh.
â€œThe ECB moves were taken well,â€ said Saleem Khokhar, the head of fund management and equities at the asset management group of National Bank of Abu Dhabi PJSC. â€œThereâ€™s a positive global backdrop in general and Dubai has been in risk-on mode for a while. Weâ€™re expecting this to continue.â€
ECB President Mario Draghi exceeded investorsâ€™ expectations by cutting all three main interest rates and increasing monthly asset purchases, spurring investor demand for risky assets.
Dubai stocks have been rallying after Brent crude prices climbed from the lowest level since 2003, lifting the emirateâ€™s equity index into a bull market last month. Other stock gauges in the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council, home to about 30 percent of the worldâ€™s oil, followed.
About 566 million shares traded on Dubaiâ€™s benchmark, double the six-month average, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The gaugeâ€™s 14-day relative strength index was at 70, which to some technical analysts is a sign the measure is overbought and poised to decline.
Dubai Parks & Resorts PJSC, which is building a series of theme parks in the U.A.E., jumped 14 percent to the highest since it listed in December 2014. About 148 million shares changed hands, or almost 18 times the three-month daily average. Its RSI jumped to more than 80.
The company is on track to open its theme parks in October and expects to become profitable toward the end of its second year of operations, Chief Executive Officer Raed Al Nuaimi said in an interview with Al Khaleej newspaper. Operating profit may reach 2.4 billion dirhams ($653 million) in the first year, he said.
Union Properties PJSC fell 3.9 percent in a third day of declines. The stockâ€™s 14-day RSI climbed to 81 on March 8.
Abu Dhabi Dividends
Saudi Arabiaâ€™s Tadawul gained for the first time in three days on a closing basis. Thirty-day volatility on the gauge has dropped to the lowest in two months, and the measure is less than 3 percent from following Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Qatari stocks into a bull market.
Omanâ€™s MSM 30 Index climbed 0.3 percent and Kuwaitâ€™s SE Price Index added 0.1 percent. Bahrainâ€™s BB All Share Index lost 0.3 percent and Qatarâ€™s QE Index fell 0.6 percent.
Abu Dhabiâ€™s ADX General Index dropped 0.8 percent, falling a second day, as Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank PJSC traded without the right to its
Emirates Telecommunications Group, also known as Etisalat, fell 2.2 percent.
The companyâ€™s revenue growth this year will probably be stable in dirham terms with a capital expenditure-to-revenue ratio of about 18 percent, according to a presentation on its website.
Egyptâ€™s Egyptian Exchange (EGX) 30 Index rose 0.3 percent, extending its winning streak to seven days, the longest since Dec. 24.
The gauge has climbed 8.4 percent over that period, paring its loss in 2016 to 6 percent.
The nation is planning to offer this week a product customized for foreign investors in its domestic government debt to hedge against currency risk, according to a senior central bank official.
Egypt, grappling with a foreign currency shortage that has weighed on economic growth and corporate profits, is trying to attract back some of the $10 billion of overseas investment in government treasury bills that fled in the aftermath of the 2011 Arab Spring.
â€œAny sign of progress on solving the foreign-currency crisis stands to have a big impact on the market, and weâ€™re finally seeing it,” said Hesham Wafa, Cairo-based institutional sales trader at Mubasher Trade.
â€œThereâ€™s quite a bit of excitement about the central bankâ€™s move to bring foreigners back to the debt market.”
Israelâ€™s TA-25 Index advanced 0.8 percent, gaining a fourth day to the highest level in two months. Perrigo Co.â€™s 2.4 percent advance led the gauge higher, following the increase of its U.S.-traded shares on Friday.
The stock climbed for a sixth day, the longest rising streak since December 2014.
The TA-25â€™s RSI climbed to 67 and the index was set to break its Upper Bollinger Band for the first time since July, a bearish signal to some technical traders.
Bezeq Israeli Telecommunication Corp., the countryâ€™s largest telecom operator, rose 1.7 percent after dropping 2.4 percent on Thursday.
â€œThereâ€™s no real reason that Bezeq shares should drop at this point,â€ said Ilanit Sherf, the Tel Aviv-based head of research at Psagot Investment House Ltd.
â€œBezeq will report its earnings this week and is expected to be in line with company guidance, and the communications ministry is on its side. Itâ€™s a solid share in a volatile market.â€