Mideast Stocks: Saudi extends gains as Aramco bounces back after recent falls

Saudi Arabia's key stock index was up 0.4%, heading for a seventh consecutive session of gain

  
A Saudi trader observes the stock market on monitors at Falcom stock exchange agency in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia February 7, 2018.

A Saudi trader observes the stock market on monitors at Falcom stock exchange agency in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia February 7, 2018.

REUTERS/Faisal Al Nasser

Saudi Arabia's stock market rose in early trade on Monday, partly driven by gains in Saudi Aramco on bargain-hunting after four straight sessions of losses.

Recent falls raised investors' appetite to buy more shares to average down the cost of investment after having bought at higher prices, an investor told Reuters.

Aramco shares were last up 0.6% at 35.5 riyals.

Saudi Arabia's key stock index was up 0.4%, heading for a seventh consecutive session of gain.

Saudi Industrial Investment Group climbed 3.5% after the company board recommended a 0.75 riyal per share dividend for the second half of the year.

Saudi Airlines Catering Company increased 4.2% after it renewed in-flight catering agreement with Saudi Arabian Airlines for 10 years in a deal whose provisional value is 12 billion riyals ($3.20 billion). 

Abu Dhabi's index was up 0.2%, with market heavy-weight First Abu Dhabi Bank gaining 0.7% while National Bank Of Ras Al Khaimah  rose 2.4%.

Dubai's index inched up 0.2%, with Dubai Islamic Bank and Emirates NBD advancing 0.7% and 0.4%, respectively.

In Qatar, the index traded down 0.6%, with the Gulf's largest lender Qatar National Bank shedding 1.3% while Industries Qatar slipped 0.8%.

The market rose in the previous two sessions after Qatar last week presented its biggest budget in five years.

The Gulf state said it would spend 1.9% more in 2020 than this year, outlining a 210.5 billion Qatari riyal ($57.81 billion) budget to complete infrastructure projects, including facilities for the 2022 soccer World Cup.

($1 = 3.7511 riyals)

(Reporting by Maqsood Alam in Bengaluru, additional reporting by Davide Barbuscia; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu) ((Maqsood.Alam@thomsonreuters.com;))

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