Mideast Stocks: Most major markets end higher on oil price gains

CIB best performer on Egyptian benchmark

  
An Emirates NBD counter is seen as traders monitor stocks at the Dubai Financial Market at Dubai World Trade Center, February 2, 2012. Image for illustrative purposes.

An Emirates NBD counter is seen as traders monitor stocks at the Dubai Financial Market at Dubai World Trade Center, February 2, 2012. Image for illustrative purposes.

REUTERS/Mohamed Al-Sayaghi

Most major Gulf stock markets finished higher on Wednesday as oil prices jumped after industry data showed a bigger-than-expected drop in U.S. crude inventories, before rising global COVID-19 infections capped the crude price gains.

Brent crude rose to a session high of $57.42 a barrel, their highest since Feb. 24, before prices steadied. 

In Dubai, the main index firmed 0.8% for its fifth straight session of gains, with the emirate's biggest bank Emirates NBD  putting on 1.3% to finish as the best performer in the bechmark.

Blue-chip developer Emaar Properties advanced 1.5%, while sharia-compliant lender Dubai Islamic Bank  tacked on 1%.

The Abu Dhabi index also strengthened for a fifth successive trading day, adding 0.6%.

The gains in the benchmark were mainly driven by United Arab Emirates' largest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB), which added 1.2% on the day.

FAB on Tuesday said it has issued a 1.5 billion yuan ($232.20 million) five-year bond at 3.15%, the year's first yuan debt in the Formosa bond market.

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index gained 0.3%, aided primarily by a 3.2% rise in healthcare firm Dr. Sulaiman Al-Habib Medical Services Group Co .

Saudi Arabia’s biggest lender National Commercial Bank firmed 2% and was among the best performers in the index.

In Qatar, the index gained 0.3%, helped by a 1.8% gain in Industries Qatar.

Qatar National Bank (QNB), the Gulf's biggest bank by assets, strengthened 0.2% after it on Tuesday reported 2020 net profit of 12 billion riyals ($3.30 billion), down from 14.4 billion riyals in 2019.

The profit was slightly above the 11.7 billion riyal mean forecast from seven analysts, based on Refinitiv data.

Outside the Gulf, Egypt's blue-chip index firmed 0.4%.

Commercial International Bank, Egypt's largest private bank, put on 0.4% and was the best performer in the benchmark, while tobacco firm Eastern Co added nearly 2%.

(Reporting by Aby Jose Koilparambil in Bengaluru Editing by Chizu Nomiyama) ((abyjose.koilparambil@thomsonreuters.com; +91 (0)8061822683;))

More From Equities