Mideast Stocks: Abu Dhabi, Saudi manage small gains; other Gulf indexes muted

Banks weak in Dubai, Qatar

A Saudi man inspects a screen showing stock prices at ANB Bank in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia September 16, 2019.

A Saudi man inspects a screen showing stock prices at ANB Bank in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia September 16, 2019.

REUTERS/Ahmed Yosri

Major Gulf markets ended lower on Tuesday, while Abu Dhabi and Saudi Arabia eked out marginal gains, as sentiment was pressured by weak oil prices.

Brent crude was down 58 cents, or 0.8%, at $70.91 a barrel by 1218 GMT, after declining 0.6% on Monday. U.S. West Texas Intermediate oil was off by 55 cents, or 0.8%, at $68.68 a barrel, having dropped by 0.6% in the previous session. 

The movement in oil prices is a key catalyst for the Gulf region's financial markets.

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index edged up 0.1%, with Al Rajhi Bank 1120.SE gaining 0.8% and Saudi Telecom rising 2%.

In Abu Dhabi, the index was up 0.4%, extending gains for a third consecutive session, as Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank jumped 3.1%.

The lender received an amended offer for its stake in Alexandria Medical Services. TAT For Medical Services increased the offer price to 700 million Egyptian pounds ($44.87 million) from 650 million offered earlier. 

The main share index in Dubai eased 0.1%, with Dubai's largest lender Emirates NBD Bank falling 1.1% and developer Emaar Properties shedding 0.2%.

On Monday, Emaar shares rose as much 1.5% after the company reported a more than three-fold jump in property sales for the first five months of 2021. 

Qatar's index, dropped 0.4%, with Gulf's largest lender Qatar National Bank declining 1.1% and Industries Qatar  losing 0.9%.

Outside the Gulf, Egypt's blue-chip index fell 1.4%, as the country's largest lender, Commercial International Bank, dropped 2.5% and Fawry For Banking Technology and Electronic Payment lost 4.4%.

In a bright spot, Telecom Egypt jumped 8.9% after the company signed a modified shareholders' agreement with Vodafone Group whereby Vodafone Egypt Telecommunications will pay a one-time dividend of 10 billion Egyptian pounds to its shareholders during 2021. Telecom Egypt owns about 45% of Vodafone Egypt.

($1 = 15.6000 Egyptian pounds)

(Reporting by Shamsuddin Mohd in Bengaluru; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel) ((shamsuddin.mohd@thomsonreuters.com; +918067497252;))

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