Mideast Stocks: Major Gulf markets mixed in early trade

In Saudi Arabia, the index rose 0.3%

  
Image used for illustrative purpose. A trader monitors stocks at a Saudi Bank in Dammam October 26, 2008.

Image used for illustrative purpose. A trader monitors stocks at a Saudi Bank in Dammam October 26, 2008.

REUTERS/Stringer

Major stock markets in the Gulf were mixed in early trade on Thursday, with the Dubai index on course to snap two sessions of gains on weakness in banks.

In Saudi Arabia, the index rose 0.3% as Al Rajhi Bank gained 0.4%, while Sahara International Petrochemical Company (SIPCHEM) jumped 4.5% after proposing a first-half dividend of 0.75 riyal per share. 

SIPCHEM said in a separate filing it planned to mothball Gulf Advanced Cable Insulation Company, a move that would positively impact its future results. 

Saudi Arabian oil giant Aramco was little changed after a Reuters report that it had secured a one-year extension to a $10 billion loan it raised last year.

In Dubai, the main share index edged down 0.2% as its top lender Emirates NBD traded 0.7% lower.

The Bitcoin Fund debuted on the Nasdaq Dubai on Wednesday, becoming the Middle East's first listed cryptocurrency fund. 

The Abu Dhabi index fell 0.7%, hit by a 1.3% decline in the country's largest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank.

COVID-19 cases have risen in the UAE in the past month, prompting Abu Dhabi to maintain restrictions on entry such as home quarantine and testing at intervals after arrival. 

The Qatari benchmark added 0.1%, supported by a 0.9% gain in Qatar Islamic Bank.

Qatar has no need to change its currency peg regime despite concerns about rising inflation, the governor of the Gulf state's central bank said on Wednesday. 

Sheikh Abdullah bin Saud al-Thani said economic recovery after the coronavirus crisis could create inflationary pressure but said this would be only temporary.

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


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