Mideast Stocks: Most Gulf bourses gain in early trade, Qatar eases

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index gained 0.8%, with Al Rajhi Bank rising 0.5%

  

Most major stock markets in the Gulf rose in early trade on Sunday, with the Abu Dhabi index leading the gains, although the Qatari bourse bucked the trend.

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index gained 0.8%, with Al Rajhi Bank rising 0.5% and Saudi Basic Industries Corp putting on 1.1%.

Among other gainers, oil giant Saudi Aramco added 0.4%.

Aramco signed five agreements with French companies, including an agreement to explore a hydrogen-powered vehicle business with Gaussin, the oil giant said in a statement on Saturday. 

In Abu Dhabi, the index, which traded after a two-session break, advanced 1.5%, buoyed by a 4.6% jump in telecoms firm Etisalat and a 1.6% increase in the country's largest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank.

Mubadala, Abu Dhabi's sovereign fund, said on Friday it had agreed a four billion euro ($4.53 billion) contract with France's public investment bank Bpifrance. 

However, Multiply Group plunged about 30% to 1.75 dirhams per share from its opening price of 2.35 dirhams, on its debut trade.

On Sunday, Multiply Group listed directly on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange.

Dubai's main share index was up 0.2%, helped by a 0.8% gain in Emirates NBD Bank.

The United Arab Emirates announced on Wednesday its first known case of the new COVID-19 variant Omicron, state news agency WAM reported. 

Crude prices, a key catalyst for the Gulf's financial markets, ended little changed on Friday after erasing earlier big gains on growing worries that rising coronavirus cases and a new variant could reduce global oil demand.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries will continue with its supply adjustments for the oil market, the OPEC Secretary General said on Saturday. 

The Qatari index fell 0.3%, with the Gulf's largest lender Qatar National Bank dropping 1.2%.

($1 = 0.8839 euros)

(Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; editing by David Evans) ((AteeqUr.Shariff@thomsonreuters.com; +918061822788;))


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