Mideast Stocks: Dubai leads most of Gulf higher; Saudi index dips

Saudi index registers fifth weekly gain

  
Image used for illustrative purpose. Traders monitor stock information at Dubai Financial Market, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, June 5, 2017.

Image used for illustrative purpose. Traders monitor stock information at Dubai Financial Market, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, June 5, 2017.

REUTERS/Stringer

Stock markets in the United Arab Emirates ended higher on Thursday, on the back of financials and energy shares, while the Saudi index ended a four-day winning streak.

Dubai's main share index advanced 1%, with its largest lender Emirates NBD rising 2.6%, while sharia-compliant lender Dubai Islamic Bank closed 1.5% higher.

Elsewhere, Dubai Investments rose 3.4% after announcing a 8% cash dividend for the year 2020. 

In Abu Dhabi, the index added 0.4%, led by a 0.8% increase in market heavyweight First Abu Dhabi Bank and an 8% jump in Dana Gas - its sharpest daily gain since December 2018.

Dana Gas announced a 5.5 fils per share dividend for the year 2020, despite posting a 1.38 billion dirhams loss for the year.

Governments of United Arab Emirates and Israel have entered formal talks to establish a quarantine-free travel corridor between the two countries to boost bilateral exchange following a normalisation deal, state news agency WAM reported on Wednesday. 

UAE and Israel are among the countries with the world's fastest COVID-19 vaccination programmes.

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index eased 0.1%, snapping four sessions of gains, hit by a 1.7% fall in Al Rajhi Bank.

However, the index managed a fifth successive weekly gain, adding 3.7% during the week.

The Qatari index lost nearly 0.5%, with petrochemical maker Industries Qatar shedding 1.7% to be the worst performer on the benchmark.

The benchmark logged its first weekly gain of 2.2% in four weeks, advancing in three of the last four trading days.

Outside the Gulf, Egypt's blue-chip index edged up 0.2%.

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

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