Mideast Stocks: Blue-chip stocks buoy Dubai, Saudi extends gains

In Dubai, the index gained 0.9%, with its largest lender Emirates NBD rising 1.6% and budget airliner Air Arabia firming 3.9%

  
General view of the Dubai Financial Market in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, January 8, 2020.

General view of the Dubai Financial Market in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, January 8, 2020.

REUTERS/Christopher Pike

Dubai's stock market rose on Monday, as blue-chip stocks advanced, while Saudi Arabia extended gains from the previous session after an easing of the kingdom's coronavirus lockdown.

In Dubai, the index gained 0.9%, with its largest lender Emirates NBD rising 1.6% and budget airliner Air Arabia firming 3.9%.

Last week, Dubai lifted restrictions on movement and allowed business activity to restart.

The UAE, which had suspended entry of non-Emirati residents on March 19, said last month it would soon start allowing in those with valid residencies stranded abroad whose families are in the UAE.

The state news agency had said residents with relatives in the UAE could start returning as of June 1 to reunite with family.

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index was up 0.3%. Saudi dairy company Almarai jumped 6.8% and petrochemical maker Saudi Basic Industries advanced 1.1%.

Restrictions in the kingdom will be eased in three phases, culminating in the complete lifting of a curfew - apart from in the holy city of Mecca - from June 21, the state news agency reported on Tuesday.

The Abu Dhabi index slipped 0.2%, as the country's largest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank eased 0.4% and telecoms firm Etisalat ticked down 0.2%.

Abu Dhabi, the largest member of the United Arab Emirates federation, announced a one-week ban on traffic to and between its main cities, to be implemented from June 2, the local government media office said on Sunday.

The restrictions, which aim to check the spread of the novel coronavirus, include a ban on entering and exiting the emirate of Abu Dhabi as a whole, it said on Twitter. Qatar's index added 0.6%, supported by a 1.9% rise in petrochemical maker Industries Qatar and a 1.1% gain in lender Masra Al Rayan. (Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; Editing by Aditya Soni)

© Reuters News 2020

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