Mideast Stocks: Major Gulf markets fall as financial shares drag

Dubai non-oil private sector growth slows in August - PMI

  
Image used for illustrative purpose. Investors watch monitors at the Dubai International Financial Market, May 20, 2010.

Image used for illustrative purpose. Investors watch monitors at the Dubai International Financial Market, May 20, 2010.

REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah

Most Middle Eastern stock markets ended lower on Wednesday, dragged down by losses in financial shares, with energy stocks reeling from a plunge in oil prices that sent crude futures below $40 a barrel for the first time since June.

Brent crude tumbled more than 5% on Tuesday after Saudi Arabia cut its October selling prices and COVID-19 cases rebounded in several countries, although it clawed back some losses on Wednesday. O/R

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index slipped 0.1%, with Jabal Omar Development 4250.SE sliding 3.9% and Samba Financial Group  losing 2%.

State-owned oil giant Saudi Aramco was down 0.4%.

Helping offset some of those losses, Saudi Electricity Company 5110.SE gained 1.2%. The kingdom's electric transmission monopoly plans to issue U.S. dollar-denominated bonds soon, Reuters reported on Tuesday, citing four sources familiar with the matter. 

Dubai's main share index fell 0.6%, weighed down by a 2.7% slide in Emirates NBD Bank and a 1.4% drop in malls operator Emaar Malls.

Dubai's non-oil private sector expanded marginally in August for the second straight month, although at a slower pace than in July as weak demand led to a sixth month of job cuts, a survey showed.

The Abu Dhabi index eased 0.2%, hurt by a 0.4% fall in the country's largest lender, First Abu Dhabi Bank, and a 0.2% decrease in telecoms firm Etisalat.

Ratings agency Moody's said on Monday asset managers in most of the Gulf will face moderate-to-high pressure on their profitability over the next year to 18 months as a result of low oil prices and the pandemic. 

In Qatar, the index dropped 0.5%, with most of the stocks in the index ending in negative territory, including lender Masraf Al Rayan, which fell 1.1%.

Egypt's blue-chip index ticked down 0.2%. Talaat Mostafa Holding declined 4%, while Telecom Egypt retreated 5.2%. 

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

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