Mideast Stocks: Major markets gain on vaccine optimism; Saudi eases

ubai's main share index advanced more than a percent, with the emirate's largest lender Emirates NBD adding 1.5%, while real estate firm Emaar Properties tacked on 1.3%

  
Image used for illustrative purpose. Investors watch monitors at the Dubai International Financial Market, May 20, 2010.

Image used for illustrative purpose. Investors watch monitors at the Dubai International Financial Market, May 20, 2010.

REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah

Most major Gulf markets traded in positive territory on Monday, as further encouraging news on the COVID-19 vaccine front boosted investor sentiment, although Saudi shares bucked the trend in early trade.

In the fight against coronavirus infection, UK drugmaker AstraZeneca said its vaccine, developed along with the University of Oxford, could be around 90% effective under one dosing regimen. 

Before AstraZeneca released the news, oil prices had extended gains as traders eyed a recovery in crude demand thanks to successful vaccine trials, although prices were contained by renewed lockdowns in several countries. 

U.S. drugmakers Pfizer Inc and Moderna Inc had earlier this month come out with positive news on the effectiveness of their vaccines, spurring financial markets worldwide on optimism over a faster-than-expected global economic recovery.

Dubai's main share index  advanced more than a percent, with the emirate's largest lender Emirates NBD adding 1.5%, while real estate firm Emaar Properties tacked on 1.3%.

The Abu Dhabi index edged up 0.1%, with telecom firm Etisalat gaining about 0.8%. Lender First Abu Dhabi Bank was the top loser, shedding 0.6%.

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index bucked the trend, trading down 0.2%.

Property stock Jabal Omar shed 1.5%, while consumer staples company Savola Group lost nearly a percent.

Elsewhere, the Qatar index added 0.6%, buoyed by finance stocks Qatar Islamic Bank and Commercial Bank, which gained 1.7% and 2.6%, respectively.

(Reporting by Aby Jose Koilparambil in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond) ((abyjose.koilparambil@thomsonreuters.com; +91 (0)8061822683;))

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