(MENAFN- Khaleej Times)
Qatar's stock market outperformed Gulf peers on Wednesday amid rising natural gas prices, while the Abu Dhabi index edged closer to a record closing high set on August 11.
US natural gas futures climbed about three per cent to a 14-year high on Wednesday, on a drop in daily output, hotter than normal weather on the West Coast and in Texas, and near-record global prices.
The Qatari benchmark index advanced 1.8 per cent, with most of the stocks in the index in positive territory including Qatar Islamic Bank, which jumped 3.8 per cent.
The Qatari stock market continues to find support amid surging natural gas prices, for which demand is still elevated due to high temperatures this summer, said Ahmed Fouad, head of sales at Emporium Capital.
In Abu Dhabi, the index finished 0.7 per cent higher, edging closer to last Thursday's record, led by conglomerate International Holding Company (IHC).
Shares of IHC, the most valuable company on the Abu Dhabi bourse with a market capitalisation of around $167 billion, have risen more than 120 per cent so far this year.
IHC, which straddles sectors from healthcare to real estate to IT and utilities, made 70 acquisitions worth Dh10 billion ($2.7 billion) this year.
Saudi Arabia's benchmark index gained 0.8 per cent, with Retal Urban Development Co rising 1.3 per cent, while Saudi Research and Media surged 10 per cent after reporting a rise in quarterly profit.
Dubai's main share index climbed 1.3 per cent, boosted by a 3.3 per cent leap in blue-chip developer Emaar Properties ahead of a board meeting on Thursday to discuss the sale of its e-commerce fashion business.
The operator of Dubai International said on Wednesday more than 14 million passengers had travelled through the airport in the second quarter, and raised its forecast for the year to 62.4 million passengers.
Outside the Gulf, Egypt's blue-chip index closed 2.2 per cent higher, led by a 3.2 per cent gain in top lender Commercial International Bank.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi accepted the resignation of central bank governor Tarek Amer, more than a year before the completion of his second term, and appointed him as a presidential adviser, Sisi's office said on Wednesday. — Reuters
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