Mideast Stocks: Major Gulf bourses retreat; Egypt resumes gains

Major Gulf stock markets ended lower on Wednesday

  
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

Major Gulf stock markets ended lower on Wednesday, with financials and property shares weighing on indexes in the United Arab Emirates, while the Egyptian bourse advanced on the back of its top lender.

Dubai's main share index declined 0.7%, with blue-chip developer Emaar Properties shedding 1.8% and sharia-compliant lender Dubai Islamic Bank losing 1%.

Elsewhere, Amlak Finance tumbled 4.1%, a day after it saw its biggest intraday gain Since December 2019.

On Monday, Amlak signed an agreement with Dubai Land Department, allowing customers to invest in properties listed by the firm. 

In Abu Dhabi, the index lost 0.7%, hurt by a 1.6% fall in the country's largest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank and a 2.8% slide in Dana Gas .

The energy firm has asked owners of its bonds to provide information on their holdings, three sources said and a document reviewed by Reuters showed, a move that some investors fear may be a step towards another debt restructuring.

Egypt's blue-chip index gained 0.7%, driven by a 0.9% increase in Commercial International Bank.

Egypt's net foreign reserves recovered some ground lost during the coronavirus outbreak, rising to $38.2 billion in June from $36 billion in May, the central bank said on Tuesday. 

The benchmark index in Saudi Arabia, which has the highest number of cases in the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council, edged down 0.1%. Yanbu National Petrochemicals 2290.SE fell 3%, while Saudi Arabia Fertilizers 2020.SE retreated 2.4%.

However, the losses were limited by gains at insurers including Company For Cooperative Insurance , which leapt 7.6%.

Qatar's index slipped 0.2%, with market heavyweight Industries Qatar losing 1.1%.

With a population of about 2.8 million people, the energy-rich Gulf state has one of the world's highest per capita numbers of confirmed cases.

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

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