DUBAI: Gulf stock mostly fell on Sunday, weighed down by tensions over last week's oil tanker attacks, with Dubai alone managing gains in early trade, boosted by real estate companies and an announcement from telecoms firm Du.
The attacks on the tankers at the entrance of the Gulf on Thursday raised fears of a military confrontation in the oil shipping route amid heightened tensions between Iran and the United States and military moves in the Middle East.
The Dubai index was up 0.3% in the first hour of trading, with real estate companies registering the highest trading volumes.
Union Properties was up 3.4%, while DAMAC Properties was gaining over 1.9%.
Dubai’s telecom operator Du (Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Co) rose 1.2% after it said the UAE sovereign wealth fund Emirates Investment Authority had increased its stake in Du by buying 463.3 million shares in the firm from Mamoura Diversified Global Holding and General Investments.
The Abu Dhabi index shed 0.1%, dragged down by heavyweight First Abu Dhabi Bank, down 0.7%.
The Saudi main index rose 0.3% immediately after it opened, but then dropped gradually in the first 20 minutes of trading, and was last down 0.4% on the day.
The Saudi market is still up more than 14% this year, outperforming its major Gulf peers in a rally led by foreign investors.
On Sunday Saudi British Bank (SABB) and Alawwal Bank combined to create the country’s third largest lender, becoming a single listed company after regulatory approvals. SABB’s stocks were up 0.6%.
In Doha, the index was down 0.2%, with most banks – apart from Qatar National Bank – posting losses.
(Reporting by Davide Barbuscia Editing by Andrew Heavens) ((Davide.Barbuscia@thomsonreuters.com; +971522604297; Reuters Messaging: email@example.com))