|16 February, 2020

Mideast Stocks - Stocks slip in early trade, Aramco weighs on Saudi

Abu Dhabi's index edged up 0.1% after three sessions of losses

Most major Gulf stock markets fell in early trade on Sunday, with Saudi Arabia pulled lower by losses in Saudi Aramco and banking shares, while Abu Dhabi was up in response to positive corporate earnings.

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index inched down 0.2%, led by a 0.8% fall in Saudi Aramco. The stock was trading at 32.85 riyals, below its initial public offering price of 32.

The oil giant said on Friday it would report 2019 full-year results on March 16. 

Among banking shares, National Commercial Bank and Riyad Bank banks were down 0.7% and 0.4% respectively.

In Qatar, the index was down 0.5% with Commercial Bank losing 1.7% and Mesaieed Petrochemical Holding sheding 3.1%.

Qatar's foreign minister said on Saturday that efforts to resolve its long-running dispute with other Gulf states had been suspended since the start of January. 

The UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt imposed a political, trade and transport boycott on Qatar in June 2017 over charges it supports terrorism, which Doha denies.

Dubai's index slipped 0.6% as Emirates Integrated Telecommunications fell 2.2%. Last week the telco reported lower revenue for the year 2019 and cut its dividend.

Construction firm Arabtec Holding declined 4% after it swung to a 774.5 million dirhams ($210.9) net loss in 2019 from a profit of 256.3 million dirhams a year earlier.

Abu Dhabi's index edged up 0.1% after three sessions of losses.

Rak Properties jumped 4.9%.

(Reporting by Maqsood Alam in Bengaluru; editing by John Stonestreet) ((Maqsood.Alam@thomsonreuters.com;))

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