Mideast Stocks-Qatar leads most Gulf markets higher; Egypt falls

Dubai's main share index rose 0.4%, supported by a 0.9% gain in sharia-compliant lender Dubai Islamic Bank

  
A trader works at the Egyptian stock exchange in Cairo, Egypt, December 3, 2015.

A trader works at the Egyptian stock exchange in Cairo, Egypt, December 3, 2015.

REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany

Most stock markets in the Middle East ended higher on Sunday, with Qatar's index leading the gains on a rise in financial shares, while Egypt closed lower.

Financial markets globally have been buoyed over the past two weeks by U.S. drugmakers Pfizer and Moderna Inc releasing encouraging news on the effectiveness of their vaccine candidates against the coronavirus.

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index added 0.1%, with Dr Sulaiman Al-Habib Medical Services leaping 5.1% and real estate firm Jabal Omar Development adding 2.2%.

On Thursday, the acting information minister said the kingdom could review its VAT increase, which his driven up inflation, after the novel coronavirus pandemic comes to an end. That could spur an economic recovery. 

Saudi Arabia tripled its value-added tax to 15% in July to offset the impact of lower oil revenue on state finances.

Dubai's main share index rose 0.4%, supported by a 0.9% gain in sharia-compliant lender Dubai Islamic Bank and a 1% increase in blue-chip developer Emaar Properties.

The Abu Dhabi index closed 0.4% higher, buoyed by a 1.9% rise in the United Arab Emirates' largest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank.

In Qatar, the index advanced 0.9%, with the Gulf's largest lender Qatar National Bank jumping 4.4% and petrochemical firm Industries Qatar up 1.5%.

Outside the Gulf, Egypt's blue-chip index eased 0.4%, hurt by a 0.6% fall in Commercial International Bank.

SAUDI ARABIA rose 0.1% to 8,588 points ABU DHABI added 0.4% to 4,935 points DUBAI rose 0.4% to 2,325 points QATAR gained 0.9% to 10,203 points EGYPT down 0.4% to 10,858 points BAHRAIN added 0.5% to 1,459 points OMAN eased 0.4% to 3,613 points KUWAIT was up 0.2% at 6,133 points

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

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