Middle Eastern stocks rose on Sunday following a rally in emerging-market assets at the end of last week as the U.S. outlined steps to reopen its coronavirus-shuttered economy.
Israel’s TA-35 rose 3.5%, with Bank Hapoalim and Bank Leumi climbing more than 4% as of 11:15 a.m. local time, as the country eases its lockdown. Gauges in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait advanced between 0.3% and 2.5%. MSCI Inc.’s index of developing-nation stocks strengthened 1.9% on Friday.
“Equity markets can expect an attempt to build on recent momentum into the new trading week, with optimism that progress is coming through on a coronavirus vaccine improving sentient,” said Jameel Ahmad, a markets analyst at FXTM in London. “However, in an unprecedented global pandemic investors will also be acutely aware that it is arguably too early for celebrations.”
While the week started in a positive tone, investors in the region should brace for more volatility as earnings season picks up.
- Oman’s Bank Muscat fell as much as 5%. It reported net income of 33.3 million rials ($86 million) for the first quarter, a decline of 27% versus the same period last year, after taking precautionary provisions because of the virus and the drop in oil prices. Oman’s gauge fell 1%.
- In Dubai, Mashreqbank posted net income of 450 million dirhams ($123 million), down 28% from a year earlier. The shares were unchanged at 65 dirhams.
- Other companies expected to deliver numbers this week include Dubai’s Emirates NBD Bank PJSC, Saudi Telecom Co., and Qatar Electricity & Water Co.