Mideast Stocks: Most major Gulf markets rise in early trade; Qatar dips

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index gained 0.4%


Most major stock markets in the Gulf rose in early trade on Monday, driven by gains in the financial sector, although Qatar bucked the trend to trade lower.

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index gained 0.4%, with Al Rajhi Bank rising 0.9% and Saudi Telecom Company up 0.8%.

The kingdom announced on Sunday that foreign visitors arriving by air from most countries will no longer need to quarantine if they have been vaccinated against COVID-19.

Visitors from 20 other countries - including the United States, India, Britain, Germany, France and the United Arab Emirates - remain banned from entering the kingdom, however, under measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

In Dubai, the main share index rose 0.7%, led by a 1.1% rise in sharia-compliant lender Dubai Islamic Bank and a 0.8% increase in Emirates NBD Bank .

The Abu Dhabi index added 0.4%, with the country's largest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank rising 1.3%.

On Sunday, the bank surged over 10% on expectations that an upcoming review by MSCI of its emerging markets index will increase the bank's index weighting and spur foreign fund flows into its shares.

However, the index's gains were capped by losses at aquaculture firm International Holding .

The Qatar benchmark , which traded after a three-session break, retreated 1.1% as most of the stocks on the index were in negative territory.

Petrochemical maker Industries Qatar dropped 3.6%, while utility firm Qatar Electricity and Water declined 2.8%.

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

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