Gulf stock markets look to consolidate

Gulf stock markets look to consolidate
Published: 27 April 2016 - 6 a.m.

Stock markets in the Gulf look set to consolidate with solid support on Wednesday because of firm oil prices and some positive corporate earnings.

The 1.6 percent pull-back of Saudi Arabia's index on Tuesday indicated initial euphoria over this week's economic reform announcement had faded. Other Gulf bourses have also lost steam in recent days, and MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan is down 0.5 percent on Wednesday morning.

However, oil prices continue to hit fresh multi-month highs - Brent crude rose to a five-month peak of $46.49 a barrel overnight.

And positive earnings surprises in the Gulf continue. Mobile operator Ooredoo Kuwait reported a 356 percent rise in first-quarter net profit to 10.21 million dinars ($33.84 million); EFG Hermes had forecast Ooredoo Kuwait would make 4.63 million dinars.

In Saudi Arabia, property developer Al Andalus, which listed in January, said it would pay its first dividend, of 0.5 riyal per share for 2015.

Dubai heavyweight Emaar Properties DU> goes ex-dividend on Wednesday, however, which may weigh on the stock and the index there.

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