Mideast Stocks-Kuwait leads most of Gulf lower; Egypt edges up

Dubai's du falls as it traded ex-dividend

  
Investors work the floor of the Kuwait Stock Market March 12, 2003 in Kuwait City, Kuwait. Partly as a result to the looming war with Iraq, the Kuwait stock exchange is in the middle of one of its largest rallies ever. Image used for illustrative purposes.

Investors work the floor of the Kuwait Stock Market March 12, 2003 in Kuwait City, Kuwait. Partly as a result to the looming war with Iraq, the Kuwait stock exchange is in the middle of one of its largest rallies ever. Image used for illustrative purposes.

Getty Images/Spencer Platt

Most bourses in the Gulf ended lower on Wednesday, ahead of Eid Al-Adha holidays, with Kuwaiti shares falling the most as investors shunned stocks across the board.

Many investors prefer to cash in holdings ahead of the Eid holiday, which lasts for at least three days in most Gulf countries.

In Kuwait, the index declined 1.3% as most of its constituents ended in negative territory, including Kuwait Finance House , which was down 2.4%.

Dubai's main share index dropped 0.7%, with the country's biggest sharia-compliant lender Dubai Islamic Bank and blue-chip developer Emaar Properties both shedding 0.8%.

Emirates Integrated Telecommunications (du) DU.DU retreated 1.4% as the stock traded ex-dividend.

In Abu Dhabi, the index lost 0.5%, driven down by a 1.5% drop in Emirates Telecommunications Group and a 0.4% decrease in First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) .

FAB, the United Arab Emirates' biggest lender reported a net profit of 2.41 billion dirhams ($656.18 million) in the second-quarter versus 3.22 billion dirhams a year earlier. 

Most banks in the region, hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic and weak oil prices, have seen their profits plunge as they book higher provisions for expected credit losses.

Qatar's index traded flat, as the stocks on the index moved sideways.

Telecoms firm Ooredoo gained 3.3%, a day after posting a second-quarter net profit of 431.7 million riyals ($118.60 million), up from 420.7 million riyals a year earlier. 

Outside the Gulf, Egypt's blue-chip index added 0.3%, helped by a 0.6% gain in top lender Commercial International Bank.

** Saudi Arabia's stock exchange was closed on Wednesday, while other exchanges are scheduled to be closed from Thursday.

ABU DHABI lost 0.5% to 4,305 points DUBAI fell 0.7% to 2,051 points QATAR was flat at 9,368 points EGYPT up 0.3% to 10,599 points BAHRAIN edged up 0.1% to 1,291 points OMAN added 0.3% to 3,568 points KUWAIT dropped 1.3% to 5,415 points

($1 = 3.6728 UAE dirham)

($1 = 3.6400 Qatar riyals)

(Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; Editing by Ramakrishnan M.) ((AteeqUr.Shariff@thomsonreuters.com; +918061822788;))

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