Mideast Stocks: Most Gulf markets inch lower as UAE reports sharpest virus spike

Dubai's main share index dropped 0.8%

  
Investors look at electronic display boards on the trading floor at the Dubai International Financial Market March. Image for illustrative purposes.

Investors look at electronic display boards on the trading floor at the Dubai International Financial Market March. Image for illustrative purposes.

REUTERS/Mohammed Salem

Most major stock markets in the Gulf region fell in early trade on Thursday, after the United Arab Emirates reported its sharpest daily spike in coronavirus cases.

The United Arab Emirates on Wednesday reported its highest daily number of infections since the start of the pandemic at 1,083 new cases.

Dubai's main share index dropped 0.8%, dragged down by a 0.9% fall in Emirates NBD Bank and a 1.3% retreat in Dubai Islamic Bank.

The Abu Dhabi index eased 0.3%, hurt by a 0.2% decrease in First Abu Dhabi Bank and a 2.5% decline in energy firm Dana Gas.

The UAE has recorded 87,530 infections and 406 deaths from COVID-19 so far. The government does not disclose where in the country of seven emirates the infections or deaths occurred.

The benchmark index in Saudi Arabia, which traded after a day's break, edged up 0.1% with Jabal Omar Development rising 2.1%, while Najran Cement soared 9.9% after it proposed first-half dividend of 0.75 riyal per share.

In Qatar, the index lost 0.6%, as most of the stocks were in negative territory including the Gulf's largest lender Qatar National Bank, which was down 1.1%.

(Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich)

© Reuters News 2020

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