Gulf Arab stocks follow global rally

Equity indices from Kuwait to Oman advanced Thursday as investors increasingly shift from commodities like gold to stocks. While U.S. stock markets climb to new highs, Arab bourses follow. The Dubai Financial Market General gained 1 percent to reach 1, 973.57 points, representing the highest level since Nov. 30, 2012. Investment bank Shuaa Capital surged to a six-week high at 0.59 Dirham (US$ 0.16).

At Dubai's international exchange, the FTSE NASDAQ Dubai UAE 20 Index closed half a percentage higher at 2,333.55 points. DP World advanced for the fifth consecutive day, edging up by 0.06 percent to hit US$ 15.41.

Earlier in the week, the bourse's management traveled to India to present the advantages of listing and trading on the NASDAQ Dubai, which is the only market between London and Hong Kong by international standards.

Despite a 4-percent decline in oil prices (DME Oman crude), the Abu Dhabi equity gauge ADXGI gained 0.33 percent to hit 3,127.36 points. Abu Dhabi harbors some 7 percent of the world's known oil reserves, making its stock market sensitive to oil price fluctuations.

According to a study published earlier in the day by the Dubai-branch of U.S. asset management firm SEI (Middle East), "investors keep calm and carry on. Equity markets, both developed and emerging, are closing in on, or are above, their 2007-2008 highs."

"While past performance is no guarantee of future results, there are some signs that the growth can continue," added the report. Drivers are a revival of the U.S. economy and ample demand for raw materials and consumer goods in the emerging markets.

Elsewhere in the region, the Kuwaiti market index ended up 0.43 percent to reach 6,977.73 points, while the MSM-30 index in Muscat of Oman surged to 6,258.32 points, 0.35 percent higher. The Saudi Tadawul market remained closed on Thursday.

Philippines News agency