|10 October, 2019

Mideast Stocks: Egyptian stocks gain after inflation data, Saudi extends losses

Saudi Arabia falls for a fourth day

A Saudi trader observes the stock market on monitors at Falcom stock exchange agency in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia February 7, 2018.

A Saudi trader observes the stock market on monitors at Falcom stock exchange agency in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia February 7, 2018.

REUTERS/Faisal Al Nasser

Egyptian blue-chip stocks rose on Thursday after data showed consumer price inflation dropping to its lowest level in almost seven years, while Saudi Arabia fell for a fourth straight session.

Egypt's annual urban consumer price inflation slowed to 4.8% in September from 7.5% in August, clearing the way for the central bank to cut interest rates further after two consecutive months of easing.

Inflation has been slowing in recent months as Egypt approaches the end of an IMF-backed economic reform programme that saw the annual inflation rate rise to 33% during 2017.

Egypt's blue-chip index closed 0.8% higher with market heavyweight Commercial International Bank rising 0.3% and Cairo for Investment and Real Estate Development adding 3.9%.

Stock exchange data showed that foreign investors were net-buyers of Egyptian stocks.

In Saudi Arabia, the benchmark index slipped 0.3%. Al Rajhi Bank dropped 1.2%, while the world's fourth largest chemical maker Saudi Basic Industries (SABIC) was down 0.8%.

Saudi Arabia told OPEC that its oil production in September fell by 660,000 barrels per day (bpd) compared with August to 9.13 million bpd in the wake of attacks on its energy installations. However, secondary sources put last month's production at just 8.56 million bpd, OPEC's monthly report showed. 

Mid-September attacks targeted two of state oil giant Saudi Aramco's plants, knocking out half of the kingdom's oil production.

Abu Dhabi's index closed 0.4% higher led by a 0.8% rise in blue-chip lender First Abu Dhabi Bank FAB.AD and a 1% gain in Aldar Properties.

In Qatar, the index  was up 0.3%. Qatar National Bank climbed 1.2% after the Gulf's biggest lender reported a 4% increase in nine-month net profit, broadly in line with analyst estimates. 

In Dubai, the index traded flat with developer Emaar Properties increasing 1.1%.

(Reporting by Maqsood Alam and Shamsuddin Mohd in Bengaluru; Editing by Kirsten Donovan) ((Maqsood.Alam@thomsonreuters.com;))

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