Mideast Stocks: Major Gulf bourses in red on geopolitical tensions; Qatar gains

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index declined 0.6%


Most Gulf stock markets were subdued in early trade on Thursday, hit by geopolitical tensions in the Middle East, although the Qatari index bucked the trend to trade higher.

Israeli aircraft struck what its military said were rocket launch sites in south Lebanon early on Thursday in response to earlier projectile fire towards Israel from Lebanese territory. 

On Tuesday, three maritime security sources claimed Iranian-backed forces seized an oil product tanker off the coast of the United Arab Emirates. Iran denied the reports. 

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index declined 0.6%, with Al Rajhi Bank losing 0.7%, while Saudi Arabian Mining Co retreated 4.3%, despite posting a quarterly net profit. 

Among other decliners, food retailer Savola Group fell 0.9%, extending losses from the previous session when it reported a drop in second-quarter net profit.

On the other hand, Tanmiah Food Company jumped over 16%, a day after its stellar debut surging 30%.

Dubai's main share index lost 0.4%, hit by a 1.2% fall in Sharia-compliant lender Dubai Islamic Bank.

On Wednesday, the bank advanced 2.8% after saying that the increase in foreign ownership limit to 40% has already been implemented. 

In Abu Dhabi, the index eased 0.2%, with the country's largest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank decreasing 0.6% and telecoms firm Etisalat was down 0.7%.

The Qatari benchmark added 0.2%, supported by a 1.2% rise in Commercial Bank.

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

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