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MSM to extend trading hours, index jumps on oil deal hopes

9 Apr 2020

The Muscat Securities Market (MSM) has announced the extension of trading time on the bourse by one hour from Sunday April 12.

Earlier on March 29, the MSM had temporarily reduced the trading time to two hours from four hours to comply with the directives of the government agencies to control the spread of COVID-19 in the country.

In a tweet posted by its official twitter handle, the MSM said that following the directive by the government agencies it has now decided to extend the trading time to three hours from two hours. As per the new notification, the trading activity on the MSM will be carried out from 10am to 1pm from Sunday onward.

Investors and traders cheered the news of extending the trading hours by MSM on Wednesday as the benchmark MSM30 Index rose by 57.5 points or 1.7 per cent to close at 3,455.32 points. 

Investor sentiments at the MSM were also supported by reports of talks between Russia and OPEC led by Saudi Arabia on possible production cuts to support the oil prices. Oil prices rose on Wednesday as investors weighed whether output cuts being discussed by the world’s top producers will be enough to offset the demand destruction wrought by the coronavirus.

In the past few weeks, the MSM has suffered sharp losses due to the dual impact of sharp declines in oil prices and concerns over COVID-19 pandemic in the region.

The data released by the MSM indicates that the benchmark index lost 682.62 points or 16.52 per cent during March. Total market capitalisation of the MSM also declined by 4.98 per cent to RO18.13bn.

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