Mideast Stocks: Dubai leads most major Gulf markets higher; Egypt quiet

Aldar Properties retreats ahead of Q2 earnings

An investor looks at stock exchange information at the Dubai Financial Market December 1,2009.

An investor looks at stock exchange information at the Dubai Financial Market December 1,2009.

REUTERS/Mosab Omar

Most major Gulf bourses ended higher on Wednesday, with the Dubai's index buoyed by gains in Emirates NBD Bank after its digital banking services were restored.

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index added 0.3%, led by a 1% gain in Al Rajhi Bank and a 3.1% leap in Banque Saudi Fransi.

Dubai's main share index gained 0.9%, boosted by a 2.6% jump in Emirates NBD Bank.

Abdulla Qassem, Emirates NBD's group chief operating officer, said the issues had been resolved and digital banking services have been restored across all channels. 

Air Arabia added 1.8%. On Tuesday, the United Arab Emirates' only listed airline retreated 1.8% after it swung to a second-quarter loss of 239 million dirhams ($65.07 million) following a collapse in passenger traffic because of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

In Abu Dhabi, the index slipped 0.2%, weighed down by a 0.7% fall in the country's largest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank and a 1.7% retreat in Aldar Properties ahead of its earnings announcement.

The Qatari index was up 0.3%, extending gains for a third straight session, with Qatar National Bank rising 0.8%.

Outside the Gulf, Egypt's blue-chip index traded flat, as the stocks on the index moved sideways. Commercial International Bank as up 0.5%.

Egypt's Central Bank is likely to keep its main interest rates unchanged this week, even though inflation dropped to an eight-month low in July, a Reuters poll showed. 

Of 11 analysts polled, nine forecast that the central bank would leave rates unchanged at its regular monetary policy committee meeting on Thursday. Two analysts forecast a 50 basis points cut.

($1 = 3.6728 UAE dirham)

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

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