Mideast Stocks: Most Gulf markets in red mirroring Asian stocks

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index fell 0.4%


Most stock markets in the Gulf retreated on Thursday, in line with Asian shares, as a sudden sell-off on Wall Street and delays with coronavirus vaccines weighed on sentiment.

Oil prices, a key catalyst for the Gulf region’s financial markets, also slipped despite a huge drop in U.S. crude stock. 

Brent crude futures fell 36 cents, or 0.65%, to $55.45 a barrel, after losing 10 cents on Wednesday.

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index fell 0.4%, with the kingdom's largest lender National Commercial Bank losing 1.1%, while Al Rajhi Bank slipped 0.4%.

Dubai's main share index dropped 0.8%, dragged down by a 1.3% fall in blue-chip developer Emaar Properties and a 0.8% decrease in Emirates NBD Bank.

In Abu Dhabi, the index slipped 0.4%, hit by a 0.4% fall in the country's largest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank and a 0.5% ease in telecom giant Etisalat.

The Qatari index lost 0.6%, as most of the stocks on the index were in negative territory including Qatar Islamic Bank, which traded 1.1% lower.

(Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise) ((AteeqUr.Shariff@thomsonreuters.com; +918061822788;))

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