Equities were mixed across the Arabian Gulf on Wednesday, as oil prices and global bourses spent the day treading water.
Brent crude futures climbed by 1.2 per cent midday to around US$56.16 per barrel, before easing to about $55.77 in the late afternoon.
Japan’s Nikkei ended its first trading day of the year up 2.5 per cent, while European indexes were little changed. The Euro Stoxx 50 was down 0.05 per cent in the late afternoon.
Shares in Dubai spent most of the day in negative territory, but finished up 0.4 per cent at 3,617.40, thanks to late gains by Emaar Properties and DIB.
The index has risen four trading sessions in a row, its longest winning streak since mid-December.
Emirates NBD led blue chip gains, closing up 2.9 per cent at Dh8.65, with du and DXB Entertainments also rising.
The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange General Index finished a quiet day down 0.4 per cent at 4,570.07, with more than two thirds of stocks finishing unchanged.
Shares in Etisalat, the index’s most heavily weighted stock, closed 1.3 per cent lower, with Aldar Properties and NBAD also falling. Small cap stocks Al Wathba National Insurance and Al Khazna Insurance were the pick of just five gainers, up 14.4 per cent and 9.3 per cent, respectively. Insurance stocks have been rising because of the introduction of higher tariffs and the expectation that companies in the sector will be merging.
In Saudi Arabia, the Tadawul closed 0.7 per cent down, as decreases by Savola and NCB offset gains by Bupa Arabia and Saudi Electricity. The Qatar Exchange led gains in the region, closing up 0.8 per cent thanks to advances by United Development and Ezdan.
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