Mideast Stocks: Major Gulf markets end mixed, Qatar snaps losing streak

Major stock markets in the Gulf were mixed when they closed on Thursday

  
Investors are seen at the Dubai Financial Market April 27, 2014.

Investors are seen at the Dubai Financial Market April 27, 2014.

REUTERS/Mounir Saidi

Major stock markets in the Gulf were mixed when they closed on Thursday, with trading volumes modest because of the absence of many foreign investors for Christmas.

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index fell 0.2%, hit by a 0.7% fall in Al Rajhi Bank and a 0.8% decline in the country's largest lender National Commercial Bank.

The kingdom's oil exports fell by 18.9 billion riyals ($5.04 billion) in October, down by nearly a third, while non-oil exports fell 0.3%.

The Saudi economy is forecast to shrink by 5% this year, according to the International Monetary Fund.

Dubai's main share index gained 0.6%, with blue-chip developer Emaar Properties rising 2% and sharia-compliant lender Dubai Islamic Bank gaining 0.7%.

DAMAC Properties closed 0.7% higher after its board approved increasing ownership in London real estate project Nine Elms to 40% from 20%.

The emirate started rolling out the COVID-19 vaccine produced by Pfizer and BioNTech for free on Wednesday, the government said, joining Saudi Arabia which last week became the first Arab country to begin using the vaccine. 

In Abu Dhabi, the index eased 0.3%, weighed down by a 0.5% fall in the United Arab Emirates' largest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank and a 1% decline in Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank.

The Qatari index added 0.3%, ending three sessions of losses, helped by a 2.2% gain in Qatar Islamic Bank  and a 1.7% increase in lender Masraf Al Rayan.

Outside the Gulf, Egypt's blue-chip index edged up 0.1%, supported by a 4.1% jump in Cairo For Investment And Real Estate Development.

The Arab world's most populous country is working to boost its supply of COVID-19 vaccines as the number of recorded infections rises, the health minister said on Wednesday. 

($1 = 3.7523 riyals)

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

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