DUBAI- Financial shares helped lift Saudi Arabia's stock market for a second consecutive session on Sunday, while top lender First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) weighed on the Abu Dhabi bourse, bringing an eight-session streak of gains to an end.
The Saudi index rose 0.5% with Al Rajhi Bank and Riyad Bank gaining 1% and 3.1% respectively. National Commercial Bank ended the day 0.6% higher.
Saudi Basic Industries Co (SABIC), the world's fourth-biggest petrochemicals firm, fell 0.7% after reporting its lowest quarterly profit since late 2009.
The market heavyweight blamed the profit drop on lower average selling prices and a decrease in the share of contributions from associates and joint ventures.
Its Chief Executive Yousef al-Benyan said SABIC has no interest in taking over Swiss chemicals firm Clariant but remains keen on a partnership once market conditions improve.
SABIC, which owns a 25% stake in the Swiss firm, and Clariant said on Thursday they had shelved plans for a joint venture, which Benyan said was due to changes in market conditions.
The Gulf's largest miner Saudi Arabian Mining Co (Ma'aden) fell 2.6%.
In Abu Dhabi, the index was the worst performer in the region, losing 0.7% as the United Arab Emirates biggest lender, FAB, fell 1.1% and telecom Etisalat dropped 0.6%.
Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, the country's second biggest lender, did not trade but reported an 11% drop in second quarter profit.
It was the first combined proforma financials after ADCB merged with two smaller banks – Union National Bank and Al Hilal Bank.
Dubai's index fell 0.2%, weighed down by blue chips Emaar Properties and Emirates NBD which lost 1.3% and 0.4% respectively.
Logistics company Aramex rose 2.5% and Dubai Islamic Bank gained 0.6%.
Qatar was also weaker, with the index losing 0.6% as the region's largest lender Qatar National Bank fell 1% and petrochemicals and metals company Industries Qatar dropped 0.7%.
The index saw some support from Ooredoo which rose 1.8%.
(Reporting by Alexander Cornwell; Editing by Susan Fenton) ((Alexander.Cornwell@ThomsonReuters.com))