Gulf markets rebound on Thursday after recent weakness, tracking higher oil prices and as an MSCI upgrade play returns to the market. Brent crude rose to $118 after Saudi Arabia failed to convince OPEC to raise output targets, and data showed United States crude stocks fell sharply last week.
UAE and Qatar are under review for an index upgrade by compiler MSCI and announcement in this regard is due on June 21, a move that could open up the countries' bourses to multi-billion dollar liquidity and drive index fund investments. Abu Dhabi's index ends on a six-week high and Qatar's market rises on a technical rebound.
"Markets have been moving up on extremely thin liquidity, so it's easier to influence it with minor (cash) injection," says Sachin Mohindra, Senior Vice-President, Portfolio Manager at Invest AD. Abu Dhabi's index gains 0.3 percent to 2,703 points, its highest close since April 27. Telecoms operator Etisalat climbed 0.9 percent. Dubai's benchmark rises 0.3 percent to 1,557 points, but volumes drop to a four-week low.
Emirates NBD, Dubai's largest bank by market value, gains 2.2 percent to hit a six-week high after saying it was looking for acquisition opportunities to boost its asset management business. Bellwether Emaar Properties gains 1 percent. Elsewhere, Qatar's index climbs 1.1 percent to 8,276 points, rising for a second day in three since Monday's two-month low.
Spreading euro debt fears hit world stocks on Tuesday, affecting regional investor confidence.