Mideast Stocks: Saudi rises as oil remains over $30; others trade mixed

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index gained 1.3%


The Saudi Arabian stock market advanced on Wednesday, a day after Brent prices surged nearly 14%, while shares in the United Arab Emirates were subdued following losses in financial stocks.

On Tuesday, International benchmark Brent crude rose $3.77, or 13.9%, to settle at $30.97 a barrel, as countries began easing coronavirus lockdown measures. 

The benchmark on Wednesday was up 0.1%, or 3 cents, at $31 a barrel by 0747 GMT.

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index gained 1.3%, with petrochemical firm Saudi Basic Industries rising 2% and National Commercial Bank, the country's largest lender, was up 1.3%.

Moody's on Tuesday affirmed ratings of all Saudi Banks, while changed outlooks to negative.

In Dubai, the benchmark slipped 0.3%. Emirates NBD Bank was down 1%, whereas Sharia-compliant lender Dubai Islamic Bank was down 0.6%.

Budget airliner Air Arabia dropped 0.9%. The only listed carrier in the United Arab Emirates has laid off 57 employees due to travel disruptions caused by the coronavirus outbreak, a spokesman said on Tuesday.

The Abu Dhabi index retreated 0.9%, hurt by a 2.7% fall in the country's largest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank.

Qatar's benchmark index edged up 0.3%, supported by a 3% rise in petrochemical firm Industries Qatar.

Qatar central bank issued treasury bills for the month of May for three-, six-, and nine-month terms, with a value of 600 million riyals ($164.84 million), state news agency QNA said in a tweet on Tuesday.

($1 = 3.6400 Qatar riyals)

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

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