Mideast Stocks: Most Gulf bourses ease in line with global stocks

Dubai's main share index added 0.2%


Most stock markets in the Gulf were subdued on Sunday in response to Friday's decline in global equities, although the Dubai index bucked the trend to trade higher.

On Friday, World shares fell after a week of mixed economic data and fears over the stability of growth and Asian markets put the focus on the U.S. Federal Reserve's timeline for tapering asset purchases.

Also, concerns grew that a potential U.S. corporate tax hike could erode earnings as leading Democrats and President Joe Biden sought to raise the top tax rate on corporations to 26.5% from the current 21%.

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index lost 0.1%, with Al Rajhi Bank dropping 0.7% and Saudi National Bank, the kingdom's largest lender, was down 0.8%.

In Abu Dhabi, the index eased 0.1%, hit by a 1% fall in the country's largest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank.

However, the index's losses were limited by gains at Alpha Dhabi Holding, which gained more than 3% following acquisition of an additional 31.5% of Pure Health Medical Supplies.

Abu Dhabi cancelled COVID-19 testing requirements to enter the emirate for travellers from the UAE starting on Sunday.

Dubai's main share index added 0.2%, with blue-chip developer Emaar Properties rising 0.5% and sharia-compliant lender Dubai Islamic Bank increasing 0.4%.

The United Arab Emirates could invest at least a further 1 billion pounds ($1.37 billion) in the United Kingdom this year after pledging 10 billion pounds this week to its investment partnership with the British government.

The oil-rich Gulf state on Thursday pledged to invest 10 billion pounds in British clean energy, infrastructure, technology and life sciences, expanding its "sovereign investment partnership" with the UK government announced in March.

The Qatari benchmark fell 0.2%, weighed down by a 1% decline in Qatar National Bank.

($1 = 0.7279 pounds)

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

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