Mideast Stocks: Saudi leads major Gulf markets higher; blue-chip selloff hits Egypt

Major stock markets in the Gulf ended higher on Tuesday

  
Saudi men inspect a screen showing stock prices at ANB Bank in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia September 16, 2019. Image for illustrative purposes.

Saudi men inspect a screen showing stock prices at ANB Bank in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia September 16, 2019. Image for illustrative purposes.

REUTERS/Ahmed Yosri

Major stock markets in the Gulf ended higher on Tuesday, with the Saudi index gaining for a twelfth consecutive session, while a blue-chip selloff dragged the Egyptian bourse.

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index reversed early losses to close 0.5% higher, led by a 1.2% gain in Al Rajhi Bank and a 2.2% increase in Saudi National Bank, the kingdom's largest lender.

On Sunday, Al Rajhi posted a 48% jump in quarterly profit, helped by an increase in net financing and investment income, and fees from banking services. 

On the other hand, Bank Aljazira retreated about 4%. The lender reported a higher second-quarter net profit, however, saw a decrease sequentially in earnings.

Saudi banks have benefited from growth in mortgages and an economic recovery this year following the easing of the lockdowns imposed to combat the outbreak of coronavirus.

Dubai's main share index added 0.2%, with blue-chip developer Emaar Properties  rising 0.8% and its unit Emaar Malls advancing 2.1%.

In Abu Dhabi, the index gained 0.4%, suported by a 1.1% rise in the country's largest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank.

The United Arab Emirates' non-oil private sector expanded at its fastest pace in two years in July as demand rebounded from the COVID-19 pandemic, a business survey showed.

The Qatari benchmark finished 0.2% higher, with Qatar Islamic Bank rising 0.5%, while Qatar Aluminium Co climbed 3.4%.

The aluminium maker is scheduled to report its first-half earnings on Thursday.

Outside the Gulf, Egypt's blue-chip index dropped 0.8%, as most of the stocks on the index were in negative territory including Fawry for Banking Technology and Electronics.

Egypt's central bank is expected to leave its overnight interest rates on hold at a meeting on Thursday, a Reuters poll shows, as mounting global and local inflationary pressures caution against a reduction. 

(Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri) ((AteeqUr.Shariff@thomsonreuters.com; +918061822788;))


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