Mideast Stocks: Major Gulf indexes mixed, Saudi market gains

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index edged up 0.1%


Major Gulf stock markets were mixed in early trade on Thursday with the Saudi index supported by gains in financial shares.

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index edged up 0.1%, helped by a 0.2% gain in Al Rajhi Bank and 0.8% rise in Riyad Bank.

Goldman Sachs raised its expectations for Saudi Arabian growth this year and in 2022 amid rising oil prices and an increase in oil output by the kingdom.

Dubai's main share index added 0.2%, with diversified investment group Dubai Investments rising 1.2%, while Emaar Development advanced 1.6%.

In Abu Dhabi, the index dropped 0.4%, hit by a 1.1% fall in the country's largest lender and a 1% drop in Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB).

An undisclosed investor has sold 1.1 billion dirhams ($299.52 million) worth of shares in ADCB, a term sheet seen by Reuters showed. 

The Qatari benchmark declined 0.4%, with the index set for a third consecutive fall.

Qatar National Bank, the Gulf's biggest bank, retreated 0.8%, while Commercial Bank was down 0.5%.

The Arab state's cabinet said on Wednesday it would allow up to 80% of public and private sector employees to return to offices from June 18 as a part of its plan to gradually ease coronavirus-related measures.

Qatar decided early in May to lift coronavirus-related measures in four phases starting on May 28 and ending on July 30. 

($1 = 3.6726 UAE dirham)

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

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