Mideast Stocks: Major Gulf markets mixed in early trade

Abu Dhabi index added 0.2% boosted by top lender First Abu Dhabi Bank


Major Gulf stock markets were mixed in early trade on Sunday with the Abu Dhabi index leading gains boosted by top lender First Abu Dhabi Bank.

The benchmark index in Saudi Arabia, fell 0.3%, with Al Rajhi Bank losing 0.9% and petrochemical firm Saudi Basic Industries easing 0.7%.

The kingdom's April crude oil exports fell to their lowest level since June 2020, official data showed on Thursday.

OPEC and its allies agreed to extend most oil output cuts into April but Saudi Arabia said it would extend its voluntary oil output cut of 1 million bpd, and would decide in following months when to gradually phase it out.

The country's gross domestic product also shrank 3% in the first quarter, slightly less than official estimates and compared with a 1% contraction last year, as a sharp fall in the oil sector pulled back the economy, data showed. 

Dubai's main share index dropped 0.4%, hit by a 1% fall in sharia-compliant lender Dubai Islamic Bank and a 0.4% decrease in Emirates NBD Bank.

In Abu Dhabi, the index added 0.2%, supported by a 0.7% rise in the country's largest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank and a 0.5% increase in aquaculture firm International Holdings.

The central bank of the United Arab Emirates said the country's gross domestic product will grow 2.4% this year and 3.8% in 2022 as the economy recovers from restrictions imposed during the COVID pandemic.

In Qatar, the index edged up 0.1%, with Qatar Islamic Bank gaining 0.5%.

Last week, ratings agency Fitch affirmed Qatar at 'AA-' with a stable outlook.

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

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