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MIDEAST STOCKS Saudi extends losses on weak oil, other major Gulf bourses up

Aug 22 (Reuters) – Most major stock markets in the Gulf ended higher on Sunday, while falling oil prices continued to pressure the Saudi index, which extended losses for a second session.

In Abu Dhabi, the index (.ADI) rose 0.8%, with the country’s largest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB.AD) rising 1.1% and Emirates Telecommunications Group (ETISALAT.AD) climbing 1.3%.

Among other gainers, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company for Distribution (ADNOCDIST.AD) finished 1.8% higher following its inclusion in the FTSE Emerging Markets Index.

The changes will be effective from the close of business on Sept. 17.

Abu Dhabi, the second most populous of the United Arab Emirates, on Thursday ended a partial lockdown imposed last month as part of efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19 variants. read more

The benchmark index (.TASI) in Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil exporter, slid a further 1.1%, weighed by a 1.8% fall in Al Rajhi Bank (1120.SE) and a 3.1% drop in Riyad Bank (1010.SE), as weakening crude prices curbed interest in Saudi stocks.

Elsewhere, Saudi mall operator Arabian Centres (4321.SE) declined 0.7% after posting a drop in quarterly net profit.

Oil prices closed out their biggest week of losses in more than nine months with another down-day on Friday, as investors sold futures in anticipation of weakened fuel demand worldwide due to a surge in COVID-19 cases.

Dubai’s main share index (.DFMGI) advanced 1.1%, buoyed by a 1.1% rise in blue-chip developer Emaar Properties (EMAR.DU).

The Qatari index (.QSI) added 0.4%, with Commercial Bank (COMB.QA) rising 2.6% and Qatar Islamic Bank (QISB.QA) up 1.1%.

The Gulf state’s cabinet approved lifting the percentage of non-Qatari ownership in the capital of Qatar National Bank (QNBK.QA), Qatar Islamic Bank, Commercial Bank and Al Rayan Bank (MARK.QA) to 100%, which could attract more liquidity to the bourse.

Outside the Gulf, Egypt’s blue-chip index (.EGX30) lost 1.1%, with most of the stocks on the index in negative territory including Fawry for Banking Technology and Electronic (FWRY.CA), which was down 4.8%.

Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; Editing by Jan Harvey

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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