Mideast Stocks: Egypt index outperforms, while major Gulf markets ease

Egypt's headline inflation near lowest levels since 2005

Traders work at the Egyptian stock exchange in Cairo, November 19, 2014.

Traders work at the Egyptian stock exchange in Cairo, November 19, 2014.

REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany

Egypt's stock market ended higher on Wednesday following a deep fall in the country's inflation, while losses in financial shares weighed on most major Gulf indexes.

Egypt's inflation has fallen to some of its lowest levels in well over a decade, potentially triggering consultations with the International Monetary Fund under the conditions of a new $5.2 billion loan. 

Egypt's blue-chip index climbed 1.6%, as most of the stocks were in positive territory including Commercial International Bank, which was up 1.5%.

If inflation falls too quickly, the IMF could argue that the central bank's monetary committee should consider lowering interest rates when it next meets on Nov. 12, Reuters reported, citing some economists.

The benchmark index .TASI in Saudi Arabia slipped 0.1%, hurt by a 1.1% fall in Dr-Sulaiman Al-Habib Medical Services and a 1.6% retreat in Savola Group.

Dubai's main share index fell 0.6%, with blue-chip developer Emaar Properties losing 1.5% and its unit Emaar Malls down 2.8%.

The United Arab Emirates, with a population of around 9.9 million people, surpassed 100,000 recorded cases of COVID-19 infection on Tuesday.

Authorities have blamed people's poor adherence to social distancing for the rise. The government does not disclose where in the seven emirates that make up the UAE the cases occur.

The Abu Dhabi index added 0.3%, with telecoms firm Etisalat rising 1%, while Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank closed up 1.3%.

In Qatar, the index dropped 0.8%, with petrochemical maker Industries Qatar shedding 3.9%, and Qatar National Bank down 0.6%.

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

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