Mideast Stocks: Egyptian stocks dip on coronavirus restrictions, FAB boosts Abu Dhabi

Saudi Aramco snaps winning streak

Investors speak as they monitor stocks at the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange

Investors speak as they monitor stocks at the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange

REUTERS/Stringer .

Egyptian shares fell sharply on Wednesday amid the tightening of coronavirus restrictions, but major Gulf equity markets were higher, with Abu Dhabi's index rising the most on the back of First Abu Dhabi Bank.

Egypt, which on Tuesday registered 720 new coronavirus cases bringing the total infections to 13,484 cases, extended a halt to all international passenger flights to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

The North African country will tighten restrictions during the six-day Eid holiday from May 24. 

Egyptian blue-chip index dropped 1.5%, with most of its constituents ending in the red.

Market heavyweight Commercial International Bank Egypt was down 1%, while tobacco firm Eastern Company declined 2.5%.

Abu Dhabi's index rose 1.4% as the United Arab Emirate's largest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank surged 2.4%.

The stock rose as much as 1.4% on Tuesday before settling flat, after the bank said it would not acquire Egyptian business of Lebanon's Bank Audi.

Meanwhile, Emirates Telecommunications Group shed 0.5% after it said that its chief executive officer had resigned. 

Saudi Arabia's stock index edged up 0.1%, supported by a 3.8% rise in Savola Group.

National Commercial Bank rose 1.1% for its sixth consecutive daily gain. The country's largest lender on Sunday reported a 2.1% rise in first quarter profit.

Gains were capped by the oil giant Saudi Aramco, which fell 1.1% to 33 riyals, snapping a sixth-session winning streak.

Qatar's stock index was up 0.6%, with lenders Masraf Al Rayan and Qatar Islamic Bank advancing 2.2% and 0.9%, respectively.

Dubai's index ended up 0.1% as Emaar Properties was up 0.8% and Emirates NBD Bank added 0.5%.

(Reporting by Maqsood Alam in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva) ((Maqsood.Alam@thomsonreuters.com;))

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