Gulf markets diverge, Egypt at 14-mo. high

JEDDAH/DUBAI – Stock markets in Dubai, Qatar and Egypt climbed to multi-month highs on Monday but Saudi Arabia was dragged lower by banking shares vulnerable to economic pressures due to low oil prices.
Dubai’s index rose 1.0 percent to end at 3,602 points, just below technical resistance at its April peak of 3,605 points, as trading volume more than doubled from Sunday, a positive technical signal. Any break of resistance would point up to the October peak of 3,740 points.
Emaar Properties added 1.4 percent to 7.44 dirhams, taking its gains over the last week to 7.8 percent. The stock confirmed a break of resistance on the October peak of 7.01 dirhams, triggering a major reverse head & shoulders pattern formed by the highs and lows since August 2015 and pointing up in the very long term to around 9.75 dirhams.
In Saudi Arabia, the index failed to hold onto early gains and closed 0.3 percent lower as banking shares weighed on the bourse; heavyweight National Commercial Bank fell 0.5 percent.
The Gulf’s only listed exchange, Dubai Financial Market , gained 3.8 percent in its heaviest trade since May 3.
In Abu Dhabi, the index climbed 0.7 percent with main support from large-cap bank shares. National Bank of Abu Dhabi and Union National Bank each added 1.2 percent.
Qatar’s index recouped early losses to close 0.7 percent higher at a fresh nine-month peak of 11,128 points as most blue chips gained. Masraf Al Rayan added 1.5 percent and Ooredoo climbed 2.5 percent.
The index is now up 6.6 percent year-to-date as international funds have flowed into Qatari equities. But some shares, such as Qatar National Bank, which edged down 0.2 percent to 158.00 riyals on Monday, are now considered fairly valued. According to Thomson Reuters data, the mean target price of 10 analysts for QNB is 158.71 riyals.
Cairo’s main index rose 1.2 percent to a 14-month closing high of 8,454 points. Arabian Cement jumped 4.1 percent in unusually heavy trade. The stock is owned to a large degree by international funds including Morgan Stanley Investment Management and Ashburton.