Mideast Stocks: Banks lift Saudi index; blue-chip sell-off dents Egypt

Nine of 11 Saudi Arabian banks advance

  
An employee walks past a board at Egypt's stock exchange at Smart Village in Cairo, Egypt, September 10, 2017. Picture taken September 10, 2017.

An employee walks past a board at Egypt's stock exchange at Smart Village in Cairo, Egypt, September 10, 2017. Picture taken September 10, 2017.

REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

The Saudi Arabian stock market ended higher on Wednesday, as the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies meet to discuss future oil output cuts, but Egypt saw a sharp decline as all its blue-chip stocks fell except one.

Key members of OPEC and allies including Russia, collectively known as OPEC+, are set to decide whether to extend output cuts of 9.7 million barrels per day (bpd) that end in July or ease them to 7.7 million bpd.

The benchmark index in Saudi Arabia, the de facto leader of OPEC, gained 0.5%. Al Rajhi Bank 1120.SE added 0.4%, whereas lender Samba Financial Group ended 1.1% up.

Outside the Gulf, Egypt's blue-chip index declined 2.4%, with Commercial International Bank COMI.CA losing 3.4% and investment bank EFG Hermes sliding 7.3%.

Libya's eastern-based parliament has called for Egypt to directly intervene in the country's civil war to counter Turkish support for the internationally recognised Government of National Accord (GNA), based in the capital Tripoli. 

The Abu Dhabi index lost 1.6%, dragged down by a 3.5% drop in the country's largest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank.

Dubai's main share index slipped 0.2%, hurt by a 1.4% fall in Emirates NBD Bank ENBD.DU and a 1.2% decline in Emaar Properties.

In Oman, the index retreated 1.2%, as the quarterly earnings period drew closer to the finish line, with Bank Dhofar shedding 7.6%.

The lender reported a net profit of 15.8 million rials for the first half, down from 19.7 million rials a year earlier. 

Qatar's index rose 0.8%, boosted by a 2.5% increase in petrochemical firm Industries Qatar.

On Tuesday, the U.N.'s highest court for disputes between countries sided with Qatar in its legal fight with several Gulf states that imposed an air blockade against Doha. 

($1 = 0.3850 Omani rials)

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

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