Amman- Middle East stock markets rallied this week, deriving impetus from improving performance at global markets and emerging prospects for a nearing end of the world's recession, financial analysts said Friday.
"We believe that regional markets are deriving momentum from gains scored by world markets and expectations that the global downturn could be bottoming out," an Amman-based portfolio manager told German Press Agency dpa.
"Rising oil prices are also sending positive signals to investors particularly in the oil-rich Gulf region which suffered the brunt of losses in the Arab area as a result of the world slump," he said.
Saudi shares performed strongly this week, propelled by the petrochemical sector which gained 11 per cent. The Saudi Arabian Basic Industries Corp. (SABIC) was the market's driving engine with strong weekly gains of 20 per cent.
The Tadawul All Share Index (TASI) of the Arab world's largest bourse gained 3.1 per cent this week, closing at 5,802.14 points, a record high this year.
TASI is currently 20.8 per cent higher than the year's start, according to the weekly report of the Riyadh-based Bakheet Investment Group (BIG).
The rally of Saudi stocks over the past month was mainly in response to "the positive trend of global markets and investors' optimism that the world economy has passed the bottom of its recession," the report said.
The group predicted that the Saudi bourse could witness "a healthy corrective decline" given its strong gains over the past weeks.
Jordanian shares were volatile for most of the week, apparently in response to fluctuations at global and other Arab markets and varying levels of liquidity.
However, the Amman Stock Exchange (ASE) picked up in the last two days of the week, driven by blue chips mainly the mining sector, analysts said.
The ASE all-share price index gained 0.85 per cent this week to close at 2,760 points, according to the market's weekly report.
Kuwait's KSE all-share price index gained 2.6 per cent this week, closing at 7,753 optimism ahead of the general elections set for May 16.
The United Arab Emirates stock exchange of Dubai gained 2.4 per cent this week despite of what analysts described as a profit taking move that swept the market on Thursday. The market's benchmark closed at 1,644 points compared with last week's close at 1,606 points.
Egypt's AGX30 index, measuring the performance of the market's 30 most active stocks, climbed 6.1 per cent this week, closing at 5,507 points. (dpa)
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