Qatar's stock market was the worst performer among mixed Gulf bourses on Thursday amid volatile energy markets, while Dubai shares ended higher on a strong banking sector performance.
The Qatari stock index dropped 0.9%, falling for a fourth consecutive session, with most of its constituent stocks in negative territory. Index heavyweights Qatar International Islamic Bank and Qatar Islamic Bank declined 1.3% and 0.9%, respectively. Qatar's Commercial Bank dropped 3.8% and Doha Bank slumped 10%.
"The Qatari stock market maintained its downtrend following the negative performance in natural gas markets," said Fadi Reyad, chief market analyst at CAPEX.com MENA.
The benchmark index in Saudi Arabia dropped 0.8%, weighed down by losses in most sectors, led by banking and energy stocks. Shares of Alinma Bank declined 4.3% after the bank reported 32.8% growth in annual net profit to 3.60 billion riyals ($959.3 million) that missed analysts' estimate of 3.72 billion riyals. The world's largest Islamic bank by assets, Al Rajhi Bank , fell 0.7% and Dr Sulaiman Al Habib Medical declined 3.3%. Saudi oil giant Aramco lost 0.9%.
Oil prices - a key contributor to Gulf economies - fell on Thursday as looming sanctions on Russian oil products added uncertainty over supply, with Brent crude down 0.51% at $82.40 a barrel by 1330 GMT.
Dubai's benchmark index closed up 0.5%, lifted by gains in banking, utilities and industry sectors stocks. Dubai's biggest lender Emirates NBD added 0.4% and Emirates Central Cooling Systems rose 2%. Commercial Bank Of Dubai jumped 8.1% after it reported a 26% jump in full-year net profit on Wednesday, helped by higher net interest income and solid operating income.
In Abu Dhabi, the index ended up 0.1%, rising for a fourth straight session, helped by a 3% gain in National Marine Dredging after the firm posted a 30% increase in annual net profit to 1.30 billion dirhams ($353.9 million). The MENA region's largest producer of nitrogen fertilisers, Fertiglobe, rose 2.2%.
Outside the Gulf, Egypt's blue-chip index ended 0.9% lower, falling for a fourth session with almost all its constituent stocks in the red. Fawry banking and El Sewedy Electric dropped 3.6% and 6% respectively.
- SAUDI ARABIA fell 0.8% to 10,702
- QATAR dropped 0.94% to 10,698
- EGYPT lost 0.9% to 16,256
- BAHRAIN ended flat at 1,921
- OMAN added 0.2% to 4,720
- KUWAIT added 0.4 at 8,160
- ABU DHABI rose 0.1% to 9,858
- DUBAI added 0.5 at 3,365
($1 = 3.6729 UAE dirham)
(Reporting by Md Manzer Hussain Editing by Mark Potter)