DUBAI: Petrochemical stocks and an earnings beat by Saudi Telecom Co boosted Riyadh’s stock market early on Sunday while other Gulf bourses were generally quiet.
The Saudi stock index climbed 0.6 percent in the first 45 minutes as petrochemical giant Saudi Basic Industries gained 1.2 percent and several other producers such as Saudi Kayan rose by smaller amounts in unusually active trade.
Brent oil rose 1.9 percent on Friday to $60.44 a barrel after Saudi Arabia and Russia pledged support for extending oil output cuts. Rising oil prices tend to be positive for Saudi petrochemical firms’ profit margins.
Saudi Telecom climbed 4.3 percent after reporting an 18.2 percent rise in third-quarter net profit to 2.62 billion riyals ($698.7 million), topping the 2.28 billion forecast by four analysts polled by Reuters.
The increase was mostly due to cost-cutting as revenue from services fell 8.5 percent to 12.84 billion riyals.
The Dubai index was flat, though Gulf Navigation climbed 2 percent. Last Thursday it said it had signed a memorandum to establish a joint venture in the oil and gas services sector.
Qatar’s index edged up 0.2 percent as Mesaieed Petrochemical gained 1.3 percent on the back of stronger oil prices. Qatar Gas Transport, which would also benefit from higher prices in the oil and gas industry, surged 3.5 percent.
But Qatar First Bank sank 2.7 percent after reporting that its nine-month net loss widened to 139.6 million riyals ($28.4 million) from a loss of 76.7 million riyals in the first half of this year.
In Kuwait, telecommunications firm Zain fell 1.6 percent after it reported net income fell 7 percent in the third quarter, in line with analysts’ forecasts. The Kuwaiti stock index edged up 0.1 percent.