Major Gulf stock markets ended mixed on Sunday, with Qatar registering sharp losses following a surge in the previous session when it removed a cap on foreign ownership, while blue-chip Egyptian shares boosted the main index.
Saudi Arabia's benchmark index finished up 0.6%, extending gains from the previous day, with Saudi Telecom Company rising 1.7%, while Al Rajhi Bank was up 0.3%.
Meanwhile, Saudi and Iranian officials held direct talks this month in a bid to ease tensions between the two foes, a senior Iranian official and two regional sources said, as Washington works to revive a 2015 nuclear pact with Tehran and end the Yemen war.
The Qatari index retreated 1.3%, with petrochemical firm Industries Qatar losing 2.3%, while Commercial Bank slid 3.6%.
In the previous session, Qatar's index saw its biggest intraday gain in over a year after its cabinet approved a bill to allow non-Qatari investors to own up to 100% of listed companies' capital.
The cabinet also decided to keep central bank liquidity support for local banks based on need as the country faces a second wave of coronavirus infections.
Dubai's main share index edged up 0.1%, helped by a 1.8% rise in Emaar Properties .
Emaar Properties, Dubai's largest listed real estate developer, will go ex-dividend on Tuesday.
The managing director of Emaar said earlier this month that the company had first-quarter sales of 6 billion dirhams, up from 2.5 billion dirhams a year earlier.
In Abu Dhabi, the benchmark gave up early gains to close 0.1% lower, hit by a 0.7% fall in the country's largest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank.
Outside the Gulf, Egypt's blue-chip index advanced 2.1%, with 25 out of 30 stocks in the index gaining including top lender Commercial International Bank, which was up 3.2%.
Exchange data showed foreign investors were net buyers of the stocks.
(Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise) ((AteeqUr.Shariff@thomsonreuters.com; +918061822788;))