Mideast Stocks: Most major Gulf markets fall, Saudi bucks trend

Financial, energy stocks hit Qatar

A Saudi trader monitors stocks at the Saudi stock market in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, January 8, 2020.

A Saudi trader monitors stocks at the Saudi stock market in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, January 8, 2020.

REUTERS/Ahmed Yosri

Most major Gulf stock markets fell on Sunday, led by the Abu Dhabi bourse, while Saudi Arabia closed higher supported by gains in telecom and healthcare shares.

In Abu Dhabi, the main share index lost 0.5%, weighed down by a 1.5% fall in First Abu Dhabi Bank and an 8.1% slide in Abu Dhabi National Company for Distribution (ADNOC Distribution).

ADNOC Distribution, the largest operator of petrol stations and convenience stores in the United Arab Emirates, extended losses for a second day after its parent Company Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) said it raised $1.64 billion by issuing exchangeable bonds and additional shares to investors in its listed retail unit ADNOC Distribution.

The transaction could increase ADNOC Distribution's free float to 30%.

Dubai's index closed 0.3% lower, giving up early gains.

Dubai Investments weighed most on the index, declining 2.3%. Losses were partially offset by a 0.4% gain in Emirates NBD Bank.

The Dubai index is nearly 8% up this month, cushioned by growth in the non-oil private sector and analysts' expectations of economic recovery. 

The Qatari index slipped 0.3% following a decline in financial and energy stocks. Commercial Bank shed 2% and Qatar Fuel was 1.6% lower.

Bucking the trend in the Gulf, Saudi Arabia's benchmark share index closed 0.3% up, its fourth consecutive day of gains.

Al Rajhi Bank was up 0.6%, while hospital operator Dr. Sulaiman Al-Habib Medical Services Group and Saudi Telecom both rose 1.5%.

Outside the Gulf, the Egyptian blue-chip index rose 0.6%. The country's largest lender Commercial International Bank Egypt (CIB) gained 1.5%.

(Reporting by Maqsood Alam in Bengaluru; editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise) ((Maqsood.Alam@thomsonreuters.com;))

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