Region may edge up as global markets heal
Traders work at the Egyptian stock exchange in Cairo, Egypt, December 3, 2015. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany

DUBAI: Stock markets in the Middle East may edge up on Sunday as local traders bargain-hunt for undervalued stocks amid a sense that global bourses and oil prices are regaining some longer-term strength.

On Friday Brent crude settled down 19 cents at $35.10, after hitting a session high of $37. But for last week as a whole, the commodity was up more than 6 percent after rising for four days. The S&P 500 ended slightly lower on Friday but finished the week up 1.6 percent.

“We are starting to see global stock markets starting to heal from the pain of the start of the year,” said a Dubai-based trader.

Regionally, stock markets will continue to be choppy for the rest of the quarter, although the likelihood of them falling back to the multi-year lows hit in January has shrunk, he addded.

Last week, regional markets saw a spike in volumes as local investors bought back stocks. Dubai’s index, last at 3,124 points, will confirm a bullish near-term technical trend if it holds support in the area of the early February peak of 3,125 points.

Riyadh’s index, last at 5,976 points, faces technical resistance on the early February and end-January peaks of 6,056-6,099 points.

Egypt’s Orascom Telecom said on Thursday it had asked its Beltone Financial subsidiary, which it acquired in November, to complete the acquisition of CI Capital, the investment banking arm of Commercial International Bank . This is good news for Beltone but the stock has already soared nearly 150 percent in the past two weeks on expectations for the news and it has stalled in the last couple of days.

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