DUBAI Jan 12 Gulf stock markets may be firm on
Thursday after oil prices bounced overnight, while smaller
stocks may continue to dominate activity in Dubai as the market
waits for fourth-quarter earnings.
Brent oil futures rebounded sharply on Wednesday,
jumping 2.7 percent to $55.10 a barrel. This could encourage
some buying-back of Saudi petrochemical shares, although many
fund managers believe Saudi valuations are not cheap after the
stock market's surge since October.
The Saudi index closed at 6,895 points on Wednesday,
falling below technical support at the mid-December low of 7,002
points. Another straight close below support would confirm a
break, triggering a double top formed by the December and
January peaks and pointing down to around 6,770 points.
In Dubai, the index is up 2.6 percent since the
start of the week and may continue to find support from finance
and insurance shares, which have been volatile since the start
of the year on speculation the industry may see further tie-ups
after the impending merger of National Bank of Abu Dhabi
and First Gulf Bank.
"Blue chips have taken the back seat, and trade has been
focused on rotating between the smaller shares. This will likely
continue until fourth-quarter earnings," said a Dubai-based
(Reporting by Celine Aswad; Editing by Andrew Torchia)