Mideast Stocks: Lender FAB pressures Abu Dhabi as major Gulf markets drop

Egypt extends gains for a sixth straight session

  
Investors monitor screens displaying stock information at the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange June 25, 2014. Image for illustrative purposes

Investors monitor screens displaying stock information at the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange June 25, 2014. Image for illustrative purposes

REUTERS/Stringer

All major Gulf stock markets slipped on Thursday amid falling oil prices, while Abu Dhabi led the losses as its top lender First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) declined.

Oil prices came under pressure from rising U.S. crude oil stocks and weak factory activity in China, with few bullish factors on the horizon.

Brent crude futures were down 20 cents at $60.41 a barrel by 1156 GMT, erasing earlier gains.

The Abu Dhabi index retreated 1.3%, with FAB shedding 2.7%, its biggest intraday fall since mid-May.

In the previous session the United Arab Emirates' largest lender had surged after on Tuesday announcing the opening of a new branch in Saudi's Al Khobar. Another branch is scheduled to open soon in Jeddah.

Saudi Arabia's index dropped 0.6%, with Al Rajhi Bank declining 1% and Jabal Omar Development 4250.SE plunging 4%, making it the biggest loser in the index.

The developer posted a net loss of 80.6 million riyals ($21.5 million) on Wednesday compared with a profit of 469.6 million a year earlier, blaming the losses on lower revenue from sales of residential units. 

Advanced Petrochemical fell 1.7%. It reported a rise in third-quarter net profit of more than 5% but revenue dropped more than 13%.

On Thursday, Saudi Arabia's finance minister said the kingdom expects its oil gross domestic product (GDP) to fall by 3% this year. 

In Dubai the index slipped 0.3%, with its largest lender Emirates NBD and sharia-compliant lender Dubai Islamic Bank falling 0.4% each.

In the real estate sector, blue-chip developer Emaar Properties was down 0.9%.

The Qatari index reversed course to close 0.9% lower, led by a 2.6% fall in market heavyweight Industries Qatar and a 1.5% drop in Qatar National Bank.

On Oct. 27 the former reported a 47% fall in nine-month net profit to 2 billion riyals ($549.5 million) from 3.8 billion a year earlier.

Outside the Gulf, Egypt's blue-chip stock index extended gains for a sixth consecutive session, gaining 0.6% as its largest lender Commercial International Bank added 0.6%.

($1 = 3.6400 Qatar riyals)

($1 = 3.7502 riyals)

(Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru) ((AteeqUr.Shariff@thomsonreuters.com; +918067497129;))


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