Mideast Stocks: Oil price fall hurts Saudi market; others mixed

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index retreated 0.2%

Traders work at the Alistithmar Capital in Riyadh July 8, 2008.

Traders work at the Alistithmar Capital in Riyadh July 8, 2008.

REUTERS/Fahad Shadeed

Saudi Arabia's stock market slipped on Monday, ending three sessions of gains amid falling oil prices, while Dubai's index was buoyed by gains in banking shares.

Oil prices fell on Monday on concerns about scarce storage capacity and global economic doldrums from the coronavirus pandemic. Brent crude was down 85 cents, or 4%, at $20.59 a barrel by 1143 GMT.

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index retreated 0.2%, with petrochemical firm Saudi Basic Industries dropping 1.4%, while Bank AlBilad was down 2.3% as the lender traded ex-dividend.

In Dubai, the index rose 1.5%, with Dubai Islamic Bank gaining 2.6% and Mashreqbank soaring 14.2%.

The emirate said on Sunday it has lifted its full lockdown on two commercial districts which have a large population of low-income migrant workers, after the United Arab Emirates eased nationwide coronavirus curfews over the weekend. 

Dubai on Friday cut its emirate-wide 24-hour lockdown back to a 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew. It has now taken the same step in the Al Ras and Naif districts, which had been sealed off as part of efforts to contain the spread of the virus.

The Abu Dhabi index slipped 0.3%, driven down by a 3.5% slide in the country's largest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank ahead of its board meeting to approve first-quarter earnings.

In Qatar, the index added 0.2%, helped by a 1.4% rise in Masraf Al Rayan. Last week, the lender reported net profit of 547 million riyals ($150.27 million), marginally higher than the year ago quarter.

Outside the Gulf, Egypt's blue-chip index traded flat, with Commercial International Bank falling 0.6% and Egypt Kuwait Holding rising 5%.

Egypt has asked the International Monetary Fund for financial support to help it deal with the coronavirus crisis and will begin talks with the IMF within days, Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly said on Sunday.

($1 = 3.6400 Qatar riyals)

(Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru Editing by Mark Heinrich) ((AteeqUr.Shariff@thomsonreuters.com; +918061822788;))

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