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MIDEAST STOCKS Saudi, Qatar bourses gain as oil holds steady

Traders wait at the Bahrain Bourse after Joe Biden won the U.S. presidency, in Manama, Bahrain, November 8, 2020. REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

Aug 12 (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia and Qatar’s stock markets rose in early trade on Thursday as oil prices held on to gains from earlier this week, with financial shares also lending support.

Brent crude futures rose by 9 cents, or 0.1%, to $71.51 a barrel by 0825 GMT.

The kingdom’s benchmark index (.TASI) gained 0.5%, with Al Rajhi Bank (1120.SE) and Saudi Arabian Mining Company (1211.SE) rising 2%.

U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration on Wednesday urged OPEC and its allies to boost oil output to tackle rising gasoline prices that they see as a threat to the global economic recovery. read more

Biden’s national security adviser Jake Sullivan criticized big drilling nations, including Saudi Arabia, for what he said were insufficient crude production levels in the aftermath of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

In Qatar, the index (.QSI) added 0.3%, helped by a 1.5% rise in Qatar Islamic Bank (QISB.QA) and a 1.1% increase in Islamic lender Masraf Al Rayan (MARK.QA).

Dubai and Abu Dhabi markets were closed for a public holiday.

Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; Editing by Ramakrishnan M.

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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