Mideast Stocks: Most major Gulf markets firm in early trade; Qatar eases

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index climbed 0.8%


Most major Gulf markets firmed early on Tuesday, a day after registering sharp declines as a highly transmissible new coronavirus strain in Britain fuelled concerns that a resurgence of infections could stunt the pace of reopening economies.

The new variant of the virus is spreading rapidly in Britain and prompting high levels of concern among other countries, many of which have cut transport links. 

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index climbed 0.8%, led by a 1.2% rise in petrochemical maker Saudi Basic Industries and a 0.6% increase in Al Rajhi Bank.

Saudi Telecom Company (STC), however, slipped 0.2% after the kingdom's general authority for competition (GAC) fined it 10 million riyals ($2.67 million) on Monday, according to state TV. 

Dubai's main share index added 0.3%, with sharia-compliant lender Dubai Islamic Bank rising 1.6% and Emirates Integrated Telecommunications gaining 2.1%.

The Abu Dhabi index edged up 0.1%, helped by a 1.3% gain in Aldar Properties.

In Qatar, the index fell 0.6%, with most stocks in negative territory, including Qatar Fuel Co, which was down 1.4%.

($1 = 3.7515 riyals)

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

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