Mideast Stocks: Most major gulf markets gain

Eight of 11 Saudi Arabian banks rise

  
Saudi men inspect a screen showing stock prices at ANB Bank in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia September 16, 2019.

Saudi men inspect a screen showing stock prices at ANB Bank in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia September 16, 2019.

REUTERS/Ahmed Yosri

Most major Gulf stock markets gained on Monday, with Dubai leading the gains on corporate earnings, while Qatar slipped as its top lender traded ex-dividend.

Dubai's main share index gained 0.5% as Dubai Islamic Bank, which is due to report 2019 earnings on Wednesday, rose 1.1%. Emaar Properties was up 1.3%.

Air Arabia closed up 4.7%, after rising as much as 8% during the session. The budget airliner swung to a profit in 2019 on lower fuel prices and proposed a dividend of 9 fils per share. But Dubai Financial Market dropped 5.2% after it reported a lower profit for the year. 

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index was up 0.2%, supported by gains by banking and petrochemical shares. Kingdom's largest bank, National Commercial Bank, rose 1.2%. Banque Saudi Fransi rose 1.8%.

State-owned Saudi Aramco was down 1.3% to 33.6 riyals ($8.96), a day after it snapped a five sessions of losses. The stock closed up 2% in the previous session after touching a low of 32.8 riyals, not far from its initial public offering price of 32 riyals.

The Abu Dhabi index edged up 0.1%, led by a 0.5% gain at First Abu Dhabi Bank. Aldar Properties added 1.3%.

In Qatar, the index fell 0.5% in its third straight day of declines. The Gulf's largest bank, Qatar National Bank (QNB), lose 3.9% as its shares traded ex-dividend. Qatar Gas Transport shed 3.7%.

Outside the Gulf, Egypt's blue-chip index lost 0.9% after four days of gains. Commercial International Bank Egypt fell 0.5% and the cigarette maker Eastern Company dropped 2.3%.

Juhayna Food Industries closed down 1.5% as its annual profit declined 19% to 328.8 million pounds ($20.96 million). 

Egypt's annual urban consumer inflation in January rose to 7.2% from 7.1% in December. The country is emerging from a three-year economic reform programme backed by the International Monetary Fund that saw inflation soar as high as 33% during 2017.

($1 = 3.7507 riyals)

($1 = 15.6850 Egyptian pounds)

(Reporting by Maqsood Alam in Bengaluru, editing by Larry King) ((Maqsood.Alam@thomsonreuters.com;))

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