Mideast Stocks: Saudi leads most Gulf markets higher; Dubai index dips

Nine of 11 banks in Saudi Arabia gain

  
Image used for illustrative purpose. Investors watch monitors at the Dubai International Financial Market, May 20, 2010.

Image used for illustrative purpose. Investors watch monitors at the Dubai International Financial Market, May 20, 2010.

REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah

Most Gulf stocks closed higher on Sunday following Friday's rise in global equities and a jump in oil prices, with Saudi Arabian banks boosting the index.

A gauge of global equity markets scaled a new record on Friday on expectations of further stimulus from Washington and hopes of an economic revival.

Oil prices, a key catalyst for the Gulf regions' financial markets, rose, with Brent climbing to nearly $60 a barrel, helped by supply curbs by producer group OPEC and its allies.

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index advanced 0.8%, buoyed by a 1.4% gain in Al Rajhi Bank and a 5.6% surge in Bank Albilad after it reported an increase in full year profit. 

Among other gainers, oil behemoth Saudi Aramco ended 0.4% up.

Dubai's main share index slipped 0.2%, hit by a 3.2% fall in Dubai Investments.

Last week, the diversified investment group reported a net profit of 347.9 million dirhams ($94.72 million) for 2020, down from 657.4 million dirhams a year earlier. 

The Abu Dhabi index edged up 0.1%, supported by a 1.4% rise in Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank.

In Qatar, the index added 0.6%, led by a 1.5% rise in petrochemical maker Industries Qatar.

Outside the Gulf, Egypt's blue-chip index concluded flat, with tobacco monopoly Eastern Company falling 2%.

($1 = 3.6728 UAE dirham)

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

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