Iran Deal Optimism Sends Stocks to Three-Month High; Egypt Rises

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Iranian stocks climbed to the highest level in three months as diplomats from the Persian Gulf country and six negotiating powers moved closer to reaching a nuclear accord.

The Tehran Stock Exchange’s benchmark index advanced 1.2 percent on Sunday to 67,646.4, the highest level since April 15, as officials sought to clinch a deal that would help lift sanctions crippling Iran’s economy. Bank Saderat Iran was the most-traded stock, with investors exchanging 115 million shares, lifting it 1.2 percent.

Negotiators have “never been closer to an agreement,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters in Washington. The diplomats on Friday missed their third deadline in two weeks and now have through July 13 to resolve the remaining points in an accord that they say is mostly complete. Iran is holder of the world’s fourth-largest oil reserves and second-biggest natural-gas stockpile.

“It’s really a positive climate that’s been generated by the negotiations,” Masoud Gholampour, an analyst at Novin Investment Bank, said by telephone from Tehran. “The banks have been increasing over the past week. That’s much more directly linked to the talks and the prospect of sanctions removal.”

The final sticking points for the deal have revolved around disputes on timing, reciprocity and sanctions relief.

“Our expectation is that after a deal is signed, the index will rise by a further 4 percent and stabilize after one week,” Gholampour said.

Egypt Rises

Stock markets in the Middle East and Gulf region climbed amid optimism the worst of the rout in China may be over as Greece moved closer to securing a bailout deal.

Egypt's EGX 30 Index rose the most in two weeks. Commercial International Bank Egypt SAE, the nation’s largest listed lender, jumped 2.8 percent, marking a second day of gains after JPMorgan Chase & Co. and EFG-Hermes Holding SAE recommended buying the shares following a sell-off. The lender accounts for about 40 percent of the index.

Kuwait’s SE Price Index gained 0.6 percent, the most in the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council. The ADX General Index in Abu Dhabi added 0.5 percent. Oman’s MSM30 Index advanced 0.3 percent to the highest in almost four weeks, while Dubai’s DFM General Index declined 0.1 percent.

Gulf Stocks

“We’re seeing some positive momentum in our local markets on optimism of a solution to Greece’s current debt problems and after Chinese stocks bounced back,” Muhammad Shabbir, the head of equities at Rasmala Investment Bank Ltd., said by phone from Dubai. “Anything that impacts growth in Europe will affect the global economy, which has a direct impact on the regional oil exports.” The GCC is home to almost 30 percent of the world’s proven oil reserves.

The Greek government offered to meet most of the demands made by creditors in exchange for a third rescue package, spurring a 1.4 percent increase in the Stoxx Europe 600 last week. In China, the Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite Index jumped 11 percent in two sessions, the most in almost seven years, after the government banned insiders from selling stocks.

Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul All Share Index retreated 0.3 percent after rising as much as 0.8 percent.

In Israel, the TA-25 Index climbed 0.2 percent after declining for a fourth week. The government’s bond due in 2024 fell, sending the yield seven basis points higher to 2.24 percent.

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