Most major Gulf stock markets retreated on Thursday, as weak corporate earnings continue to weigh on investor sentiment, while Dubai bucked the trend supported by Dubai Islamic Bank.
Saudi Arabia's benchmark index was down 0.5%, led by a 2% fall in Saudi Basic Industries 2010.SE and a 0.5% dip in Al Rajhi Bank 1120.SE .
Qatar's index dropped 1.1%, as most of the stocks on the index declined. Qatar Islamic Bank and Industries Qatar both were down 2.1%.
On Wednesday, the latter saw its biggest decline in six months as 2019 profits almost halved from a year earlier.
The Abu Dhabi index eased 0.6%, hurt by a 0.9% fall in First Abu Dhabi Bank. On Wednesday, the lender sold 450 million pounds ($584.06 million) of three-year sterling-denominated bonds at 98 basis points (bps) over UK gilts.
In Dubai, the index reversed its course to close up 0.1% with Dubai Islamic Bank rising 0.7%, following its board approval to increase foreign ownership limit to 40% from 25%.
However, the gains were capped by losses at real estate stocks including Emaar Properties , which was down 0.3%. The developer reported a marginal decrease in fourth-quarter profit to 1.76 billion dirhams ($479.20 million) on Wednesday, down from 1.79 billion dirhams year ago.
Outside the Gulf, Egypt's blue-chip index edged up 0.1%, supported by its top lender Commercial International Bank COMI.CA , which gained 0.2%.
($1 = 0.7705 pounds)
($1 = 3.7506 riyals)
($1 = 3.6728 UAE dirham)
(Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru Editing by Chizu Nomiyama) ((AteeqUr.Shariff@thomsonreuters.com; +918067497129;))