Mideast Stocks: Dubai outperforms as Aramco hurts Saudi

24 of 30 Egyptian stocks gain

  
Saudi men inspect a screen showing stock prices at ANB Bank in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia September 16, 2019.

Saudi men inspect a screen showing stock prices at ANB Bank in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia September 16, 2019.

REUTERS/Ahmed Yosri

Most major stock markets in the Middle East ended higher on Thursday, with Dubai leading the way as blue-chip stocks advanced, but oil giant Saudi Aramco weighed on the Saudi index.

Dubai's index advanced 2%, with Dubai Investments rising 7.4% after its shareholders approved payment of a 10% cash dividend for the 2019 fiscal year.

Air Arabia was up 4.6% after the United Arab Emirates said it would allow transit flights to resume after suspending them in March.

The budget airliner, which has about 2,000 employees, said on Wednesday it had made further job cuts due to the impact of the coronavirus but did not give a number.

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index, which retreated 1.1% in early trade, closed down 0.2%, hurt by a 1.7% fall in Saudi Aramco shares and a 2.4% drop in Saudi British Bank.

Saudi Arabia and Russia, two of the world's biggest oil producers, have agreed to support an extension into July of the 9.7 million barrels per day (bpd) supply cuts backed in April by the OPEC+ group. 

But holding an OPEC+ meeting to discuss the move remains conditional on a deepening of cuts by countries that have not complied with their targets so far, sources said. 

The Abu Dhabi index added 0.4%, driven by a 1.2% rise in Emirates Telecommunications.

Oil-rich Abu Dhabi, which has raised $10 billion via bond sales this year, said on Wednesday it will consider raising more money via the bond markets to protect its finances from the impact of low oil prices. 

The Qatari index was up 0.4%, as Qatar Islamic Bank gained 1.9%.

Egypt's blue-chip index rose 1.9%, with 24 of its 30 stocks rising, including a gain of 5.9% for Commercial International Bank.

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

More From Equities