Mideast Stocks: Most markets gain, Saudi retreats amid falling oil prices

Nine of 11 Saudi Arabian banks decline

  
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 stock markets in the Gulf region closed higher on Wednesday, with Qatar rising the most, while the Saudi index fell after oil prices weakened due to doubts about an early meeting of OPEC+ nations.

OPEC leader Saudi Arabia and non-OPEC Russia have preliminary agreed to extend existing record oil production cuts by one month, sources told Reuters

But oil prices retreated after Bloomberg reported that the Thursday meeting was in doubt. Brent crude futures for August were down 31 cents, or 0.8%, at $39.26 by 1310 GMT, having earlier touched their highest since March 6. 

Saudi Arabian benchmark index lost 0.9%, with Al Rajhi Bank dropping 1% and petrochemical maker Saudi Basic Industries declining 1.8%.

In Dubai, the index firmed 0.8%, with sharia-compliant lender Dubai Islamic Bank rising 2% and logistics firm Aramex leaping 3.8%.

Dubai will allow the full reopening of malls and private businesses starting on Wednesday, its media office said on Tuesday, after the United Arab Emirates business hub began easing restrictions last month. 

Elsewhere, Emaar Malls advanced 2.2%.

The Qatari index gained 1.6%, as most of the constituents on the index ended higher, including petrochemical firm Industries Qatar, which was up 5.9%.

Qatar National Bank (QNB) added 1.2%. The Gulf's largest lender is marketing five-year Chinese yuan-denominated bonds at a final price guidance of 3.8%, Reuters reported on Wednesday citing two sources. 

The Abu Dhabi index edged up 0.2%, helped by a 4.6% increase in Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank.

Outside the Gulf, Egypt's blue-chip index increased 0.8%, led by a 1.3% gain in Commercial International Bank.

(Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V) ((AteeqUr.Shariff@thomsonreuters.com; +918061822788;))

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