Saudi Stocks Rise on Earnings Optimism, Iran Talks: Inside EM

Saudi Arabian stocks led gains in the Gulf region as better-than-expected earnings fueled investor optimism and talks between Iran and the U.S. to end a years-long standoff progressed.

The benchmark Tadawul gauge rose as much as 0.8% before closing up 0.6% for its third consecutive advance. Share indexes in Dubai, Israel and Egypt also climbed, while those in Abu Dhabi, Kuwait, Qatar and Oman fell. Bahrain’s index was little changed.

The recovery in corporate earnings comes at a time when renewed efforts to address long-standing regional enmities are lifting investor sentiment. World powers advanced efforts to revive a 2015 nuclear accord between Iran and the U.S. during weekend negotiations in Vienna. Meanwhile, senior officials from Saudi Arabia and Iran have been holding talks to repair relations between the two countries, the Financial Times reported.

“The news of Saudi-Iran meeting is encouraging, but it could just be a beginning step,” said Joice Mathew, the head of equity research at United Securities in Muscat. Meanwhile, “the focus is shifting to results season. Most of the results so far have been good.”

Saudi companies including Advanced Petrochemical Co. and United Electronics Co. reported first-quarter results that exceeded estimates in recent weeks. Earnings from companies in Oman also bouyed the market Sunday, Mathew said.

Highlights
  • MSCI Emerging Markets Index jumped 0.7% last week, rising for a third week
  • EM Review: Risk Assets Rally on China, U.S. Data, Falling Yields
  • MORE: Saudi Crown Prince’s Latest Economic Plan Comes With Big Risks

MIDDLE EASTERN MARKETS:

  • Dubai Financial Market General Index rises as much as 1.3%
    • Emaar Properties +1.8%; Dubai Islamic Bank +0.7%; Emaar Malls +2.2%
    • Abu Dhabi’s ADX General Index closes 0.1% lower, after climbing as much as 1.2%
  • Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul All Share Index climbs for a third day
    • Saudi Telecom pushes the gauge up most, rising 1.7%
    • NOTE: Yansab 1Q Profit Beats Estimates
  • Qatar Exchange Index closes 1.3% lower
  • Egypt’s EGX 30 Index closes 2.1% higher
    • Commercial International Bank +3.4%; Fawry for Banking & Payment Technology Services +8.6%; Egypt Kuwait Holding +2.8%

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