Mideast Stocks:Saudi bourse retreats after oil drops; others mixed

The Saudi index fell 0.4% with oil giant Saudi Aramco losing 0.7%


Saudi Arabian stocks retreated in early trade on Monday after oil prices fell, while bourses in the United Arab Emirates were mixed in thin volumes.

Oil prices fell on Monday on signs that worldwide oil storage is filling rapidly, raising concerns that production cuts will not come fast enough to fully offset the collapse in demand from the coronavirus pandemic.

Brent crude  was down $1.18, or 5.5%, at $20.26 a barrel by 0738 GMT.

The Saudi index fell 0.4% with oil giant Saudi Aramco losing 0.7%, while Bank AlBilad was down 1.6% as the lender traded ex-dividend.

But, Fawaz Alhokair gained 2% after announcing a partial reopening of its stores across all malls except in Makkah.

On Sunday, Saudi Arabia eased curfews across the country but kept 24-hour lockdowns in place in the city of Mecca and neighbourhoods previously put in isolation to curb the spread of the new coronavirus, state news agency SPA said.

Dubai's main share index eased 0.4%, hurt by a 2.4% fall in logistic firm Aramex and a 0.6% drop in Dubai Islamic Bank.

In Abu Dhabi, the index added 0.8%, helped by a 0.6% rise in the country's largest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank ahead of its board meeting to approve first-quarter financials.

The Qatari index traded flat as Qatar Gas Transport rose 2.6%, whereas Ezdan Holding dropped 2.9%.

(Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise) ((AteeqUr.Shariff@thomsonreuters.com; +918061822788;))

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