Mideast Stocks: Most major Gulf markets slip but Oman bucks trend with sharp rise

Oman's blue-chip bourse, which had closed following the death of Sultan Qaboos bin Said, rose 1.5% for its biggest intraday gain this month

  

Most major Gulf stock indexes fell at Wednesday's open, with Abu Dhabi dragged down by its top lender, but Oman bucked the trend as financial stocks led a sharp rise as the market reopened after a three-day break.

Oman's blue-chip bourse, which had closed following the death of Sultan Qaboos bin Said, rose 1.5% for its biggest intraday gain this month. Bank Muscat rose 3.7%, while Raysut Cement  was up 7.6% after reporting a large rise in full-year net profit.

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index edged down 0.1%, hurt by a 0.6% fall in Saudi Aramco and a 0.7% drop in Saudi British Bank.

On Wednesday, JP Morgan initiated coverage of state-owned Aramco with an "overweight" rating and price target of 37 riyals ($9.86), a stronger recommendation than Goldman Sachs' "neutral" and Morgan Stanley's "underweight" ratings.

The Abu Dhabi index lost 0.4% as the country's largest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank eased 0.6% and realtor Aldar Properties slipped 0.9%.

In Qatar, the index slipped 0.1% with market heavyweight Industries Qatar declining 1.3%, while Qatar National Bank was down 0.3%, despite reporting a rise in annual profit.

The lender reported a net profit of 14.4 billion riyals ($3.96 billion) in 2019, up from 13.8 billion riyals a year earlier.

The index found some support from Qatar Islamic Bank, which was up 1.3%.

Dubai's main share index edged up 0.2% with Emirates NBD Bank and Emaar Properties gaining 0.4% and 0.5%, respectively.

($1 = 3.7516 riyals) ($1 = 3.6400 Qatar riyals)

(Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; Editing by Kirsten Donovan) ((AteeqUr.Shariff@thomsonreuters.com; +918067497129;))


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