Mideast Stocks: Major Gulf bourses ease, banks buoy Saudi index

Dubai index ends eight sessions of gains

  
A Saudi trader observes the stock market on monitors at Falcom stock exchange agency in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia February 7, 2018.

A Saudi trader observes the stock market on monitors at Falcom stock exchange agency in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia February 7, 2018.

REUTERS/Faisal Al Nasser

Dubai's share index ended an eight-session winning streak on Tuesday and most other major stock markets in the Gulf also retreated, but the Saudi market rose thanks to gains in banks.

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index advanced 0.9%, with Saudi National Bank  rising 3.5%, a day after the country's largest lender proposed a cash dividend of 0.65 riyal per share for the first half. 

Among other gainers, Dallah Healthcare added 1.8% following a rise in its quarterly profit.

The kingdom's economy grew in the second quarter for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic began, fuelled by 10.1% growth in the non-oil sector, according to flash government estimates on Monday. 

Separately, the Saudi Exchange on Monday announced the listing of Banan Real Estate on the parallel market on Aug. 11.

Dubai's main share index lost 0.2%, hit by a 0.8% fall in sharia-compliant lender Dubai Islamic Bank.

In Abu Dhabi, the index dropped 0.2%, pressured by a 0.4% fall in the country's largest lender, First Abu Dhabi Bank.

Among other decliners, Ras Al Khaimah Cement Co tumbled about 10% to become the top loser on the index. Last week, the cement firm posted a net loss of 7.2 million dirhams for the second quarter. 

The Qatari index lost 0.3%, as most of the constituents of the index retreated, including Commercial Bank, which was down 1.9%.

Outside the Gulf, Egypt's blue-chip index gained 0.5%, with top lender Commercial International Bank rising 2%.

Egypt on Monday received its first shipment of one-shot Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines, obtaining 261,600 doses in cooperation with the African Union, the health ministry said.

The country has also received shipments of the Sputnik, Sinopharm and Oxford-AstraZeneca shots.

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


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