Mideast Stocks: Higher oil prices push Saudi index up, while Egypt declines

Etisalat gains on FY dividend

  
Image used for illustrative purpose only. Traders work at the Egyptian stock exchange in Cairo, May 28, 2015.

Image used for illustrative purpose only. Traders work at the Egyptian stock exchange in Cairo, May 28, 2015.

REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany

Gulf markets ended mostly higher on Tuesday, with Saudi Arabia's benchmark index leading gains, while Egypt's blue-chip index slid more than 1 percent.

The Saudi index closed 0.8% higher, its biggest daily percentage gain in over a week, buoyed by higher oil prices.

The rise in crude prices was underpinned by the likely easing of COVID-19 lockdowns around the world, positive economic forecasts and lower output as U.S. supplies were slow to return after a deep freeze in Texas shut down production.

Financial stocks boosted the index, with Al Rajhi Bank1120.SE jumping 4% and National Commercial Bank , the country's largest lender, advancing 1.8%.

Dubai's main share index snapped five sessions of losses to end marginally higher at 0.2%, bolstered by a 3% rise in Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company.

During the day the index rose more than 1%.

"The optimism over the drop in coronavirus cases in the country is playing a good role in reviving investors' appetite," said Wael Makarem, market analyst at ICM.com.

The Abu Dhabi index mirrored Dubai, closing up about 0.2%, with Emirates Telecommunications Group (Etisalat) gaining nearly 1% after its board recommended a total dividend of 1.2 dirhams per share for 2020. 

Bucking the trend, the Qatari index fell for the fifth consecutive session to end 0.6% lower.

Qatar National Bank, the Gulf's largest lender by assets, reversed early gains and dropped 3.4%.

Outside the Gulf, Egypt's blue chip index fell more than 1%, after rising for the past two sessions.

(Reporting by Tanvi Mehta in Bengaluru; Editing by Jan Harvey) ((tanvi.mehta@thomsonreuters.com; +91 80 61822707; Reuters Messaging: tanvi.mehta.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

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