Mideast Stocks: Major Gulf markets end mixed; blue-chips buoy Egypt

Major Gulf stock markets ended mixed on Sunday, with Qatar registering sharp losses

  
Traders watch share prices on an electronic display at the Doha Stock Exchange in Doha, Qatar June 3, 2015. .

Traders watch share prices on an electronic display at the Doha Stock Exchange in Doha, Qatar June 3, 2015. .

REUTERS/Naseem Zeitoon

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;))

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