Mideast Stocks: Major Gulf stocks little changed, Dubai nudges higher

Air Arabia rose 1.5%, while shopping mall operator Emaar Mall was up 1%

  

Major stock markets in the Gulf were little changed in early trade on Sunday, with expectations of economic recovery nudging Dubai higher again after the index snapped an eight-session winning streak at the end of last week.

Dubai's index was up 0.1% after closing lower on Thursday.

The United Arab Emirate's only listed airline Air Arabia rose 1.5%, while shopping mall operator Emaar Mall was up 1%.

Analysts expect Dubai house prices to rise this year for the first time in six years, supported by a swift vaccine rollout that has lifted hopes for an overall economic recovery. 

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index inched up around 0.2% in its fourth consecutive day of gains.

Hospital operator Dr. Sulaiman Al-Habib Medical Services Group rose 0.9%, Saudi Telecom added 0.7% and Sahara International Petrochemical was up 1.4%.

Saudi Arabia will allow entertainment venues to open at 40% capacity for those who are vaccinated against the novel coronavirus, as the kingdom relaxes restrictions imposed to check the spread of COVID-19. 

The Abu Dhabi index .was down 0.4% led by financials. First Abu Dhabi Bank fell 1.3% and Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank retreated 0.7%.

Losses were partially offset by International Holdings and Emirates Telecommunications Group gaining 0.8% and 0.3% respectively.

Qatar's index edged down 0.2% after three session of gains triggered by easing COVID-19 restrictions.

Banking shares weighed the most with Commercial Bank dropping 1.6% and Qatar International Islamic Bank down 1.7%.

(Reporting by Maqsood Alam in Bengaluru; Editing by Kirsten Donovan) ((Maqsood.Alam@thomsonreuters.com;))


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