Mideast Stocks: Saudi index eases ahead of OPEC+ meet; others markets mixed

The benchmark index of Saudi Arabia, the de-facto OPEC leader, eased 0.4%


Major stock markets moved sideways in lacklustre trade on Wednesday, while shares in Saudi Arabia retreated ahead of an OPEC+ meeting on output cuts.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other major producers including Russia, a group known as OPEC+, may extend production cuts of 9.7 million barrels per day (bpd), equivalent to about 10% of global production, into July or August, at an online meeting expected to be held on June 4.

The benchmark index of Saudi Arabia, the de-facto OPEC leader, eased 0.4%, with petrochemical maker Saudi Basic Industries losing 1.6% and utility firm Saudi Electricity sliding 4.1%.

Meanwhile, the kingdom's non-oil private sector contracted for the third straight month in May as measures to stem the spread of the coronavirus continued to hit demand, although it shrank at a slower pace than in the previous two months, a survey showed.

In Dubai, the index added 0.5%, supported by a 1.1% rise in sharia-compliant lender Dubai Islamic Bank and a 2.2% increase in Emaar Malls.

Dubai will allow the full reopening of malls and private businesses starting on Wednesday, its media office said.

The Abu Dhabi index fell 0.3%, a day after its biggest intraday gain in over a month. Emirates Telecommunications dropped 1.7%, whereas the country's largest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank was down 0.3%.

Qatar's index gained 0.6%, with market heavyweight Industries Qatar rising 2%.

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

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