Mideast Stocks: Major Gulf markets firm in early trade; Qatar dips

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index gained 0.1%, supported by a 3.8% jump for SABIC Agri-Nutrients Co

  

Most major Gulf stock markets firmed on Wednesday against the backdrop of rising oil prices, with indexes in the United Arab Emirates on track to extend gains for fifth straight session.

Oil prices gained more than 1% after industry data showed a bigger than expected drop in inventories. Brent crude was up 79 cents, or 1.4%, at $57.37 a barrel by 0420 GMT, having risen 1.7% in the previous session. 

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index gained 0.1%, supported by a 3.8% jump for SABIC Agri-Nutrients Co.

In Dubai, the main index rose 0.3%, with blue-chip developer Emaar Properties advancing 1.2% and sharia-compliant lender Dubai Islamic Bank up 0.4%.

The Abu Dhabi index added 0.2%, helped by a 0.4% rise for First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB).

FAB, the United Arab Emirates' largest lender, on Tuesday said it has issued a 1.5 billion yuan ($232.20 million) five-year bond at 3.15%, the year's first yuan debt in the Formosa bond market. 

In Qatar, the index eased 0.1%, hit by a 1.5% fall for Qatar Gas Transport.

Qatar National Bank (QNB), however, edged up 0.1%.

QNB, the Gulf's biggest bank by assets, on Tuesday reported a 2020 net profit of 12 billion riyals ($3.30 billion), down from 14.4 billion riyals in 2019.

The profit was slightly above the 11.7 billion riyal mean forecast from seven analysts, based on Refinitiv data. ($1 = 3.6405 Qatar riyals) ($1 = 6.4599 Chinese yuan renminbi)

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


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