Most of the stock markets in the Gulf region closed higher, today, Thursday, as concerns about the mutant Omicron from the Corona virus eased after a study indicated that the mutant may be less dangerous than thought.
According to the research conducted by Imperial College London and published on Wednesday, the risk of patients with the Omicron mutation needing to stay in hospital is between 40% and 45% less than those with the Delta mutation.
The main Saudi index rose 0.6%, supported by the rise of Al-Rajhi Bank by 0.9% and the closing of the share of the Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) in the petrochemical sector, up 1.4%.
Crude oil prices, a major catalyst for financial markets in the Gulf, have broadly stabilized.
Concerns about the potential impact of movement restrictions on fuel demand have subsided, while OPEC, Russia and their allies have left open the possibility of revising their plan to add 400,000 barrels per day of supply in January.
The main stock index in Dubai rose 0.6%, led by a 3.4% jump in Emirates NBD, and a 1.1% rise in Emirates Integrated Telecommunications (du).
The Dubai market remains strong in terms of fundamentals and could recover more broadly once more data is available on Omicron, said Farah Murad, senior market analyst in the Middle East and North Africa division at XTP.
The Abu Dhabi index ended a series of losses that lasted for four sessions, to close up 0.4%, with the share of the telecom company rising 1.2%. But the Abu Dhabi index recorded a weekly loss of 4.8%, which is its largest loss since March 2020.
The Qatari index rose 0.1%, supported by a 0.9% rise in Qatar National Bank.
Outside the Gulf region, the Egyptian blue-chip index rose 1% after the share of Fawry Company for Banking Technology and Electronic Payments jumped 2.9%, on the back of announcing plans to establish a consumer finance company.
Today, Thursday, the Central Bank of Egypt said that it has extended the measures to mitigate the repercussions of the Corona virus until June 2022.