Mideast Stocks: Most Gulf bourses end higher; Qatar falls

Dubai's main share index finished 0.8% higher

Traders watch share prices on an electronic display at the Doha Stock Exchange in Doha, Qatar June 3, 2015. .

Traders watch share prices on an electronic display at the Doha Stock Exchange in Doha, Qatar June 3, 2015. .

REUTERS/Naseem Zeitoon

Most stock markets in the Gulf ended higher on Thursday, in line with global equities, although the Qatari index bucked the trend to close lower.

World stock markets got their foot back on the gas as hopes grew that Washington could resolve its debt-ceiling squabbles and a global drop in energy prices tempered deepening fears of "stagflation".

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index added 0.2%, helped by a 0.9% gain in Al Rajhi Bank and a 0.8% increase in Saudi National Bank.

Talks between Iran and Saudi Arabia have gone a "good distance", Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian told a news conference in Beirut on Thursday. 

However, oil giant Saudi Aramco gave up early gains to close 0.4% lower. During the session, it rose more than 1%, fetching a market value of $2 trillion, a mark it had hit in the previous session as well as a day after its Riyadh initial public offering in December 2019.

In Abu Dhabi, the index gained 0.7%, with the country's largest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank rising 1.4% and Aldar Properties advancing 2.7%.

The United Arab Emirates locked in $4 billion with its debt capital markets debut on Wednesday, after orders for its three-tranche bond deal topped $22.5 billion, bank documents showed. 

Issuers in the Gulf have continued to tap debt markets despite recent volatility, seeking to lock in cheap funds before the U.S. Federal Reserve's expected tapering of its bond-buying programme this year.

Dubai's main share index finished 0.8% higher, buoyed by a 2.6% jump in blue-chip developer Emaar Properties and a 1.2% increase in sharia-compliant lender Dubai Islamic Bank.

Average residential property prices in Dubai rose 4.4% in the 12 months to August, the highest annual growth since February 2015, real estate investment firm CBRE Group said on Thursday. 

However, an ongoing fall in rents signalled continued weakness in the long-troubled sector. Dubai rents continued to trend lower, falling by 2.7% on average in the year ending in August, CBRE said in a report.

The Qatari index dropped 0.6%, as most of the stocks on the index were in negative territory including petrochemical maker Industries Qatar.

** Egypt was closed for a public holiday.

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

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