Mideast Stocks: Most major Gulf markets slip in early trade

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index fell 0.2%, with Saudi Telecom Company losing 1.9% following a decrease in second-quarter net profit

  
A Saudi trader monitors stocks at the Saudi stock market in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, January 8, 2020.

A Saudi trader monitors stocks at the Saudi stock market in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, January 8, 2020.

REUTERS/Ahmed Yosri

Major stock markets in the Gulf traded in negative territory early on Thursday, with Dubai and Saudi bourses hurt by weak earnings at their blue-chip stocks.

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index fell 0.2%, with Saudi Telecom Company losing 1.9% following a decrease in second-quarter net profit.

Amongst others, oil company Saudi Aramco slipped 0.2%.

The kingdom will look to sell assets in sectors not previously considered for privatisation, its finance minister said on Wednesday, as the country contends with the economic impact of sustained low oil prices.

Dubai's main share index dropped 0.9%, pressured by a 1.5% fall in blue-chip lender Emaar Properties and a 1.1% decrease in Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB).

On Wednesday, DIB, the United Arab Emirates' largest sharia-compliant lender, reported a net profit of 1.01 billion dirhams ($274.99 million) in second-quarter, down from 1.38 billion dirhams year ago.

In Abu Dhabi, the index edged down 0.1%, hurt by a 0.6% fall in its biggest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank.

The Qatari index lost 0.4%, with Barwa Real Estate Company shedding 3.3%, while Commercial Bank eased 1% ahead of its first-half earnings announcement.

Separately, Qatar Airways is seeking at least $5 billion in compensation from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain for blocking it from their airspace, the state-owned carrier said on Wednesday.

Last week, the United Nation's highest court for disputes between countries sided with Qatar in its legal fight with the Gulf states that imposed an air blockade on Doha.

($1 = 3.6728 UAE dirham)

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

More From Equities