Mideast Stocks: Saudi shares ease following reports of attacks on oil facilities

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index eased 0.3%


Major stock markets in the Gulf traded mixed early on Monday, with financials and energy shares weighing on Saudi Arabia following reports of attacks on the country's oil heartland with drones and missiles.

Yemen's Houthi forces fired drones and missiles at the heart of Saudi Arabia's oil industry on Sunday, including a Saudi Aramco facility at Ras Tanura vital to petroleum exports, in what Riyadh called a failed assault on global energy security. 

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index eased 0.3%, with National Commercial Bank, the kingdom's largest lender, losing 0.5% and oil behemoth Saudi Aramco down 0.4%.

"While the Houthi drone and missile attacks on Saudi oil facilities, including the Ras Tanura facility, did not result in any production outages, they underscored just how dangerous the security environment remains in the region," said Helima Croft, head of global commodity strategy and MENA Research at RBC Capital Markets.

Meanwhile, Brent crude futures surged above $70 a barrel on Monday for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began, while U.S. crude touched its highest in more than two years. 

In Dubai, the index fell 0.3%, with blue-chip developer Emaar Properties dropping 1.7%.

(Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru and Saeed Azhar in Dubai; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu) ((AteeqUr.Shariff@thomsonreuters.com; +918061822788;))

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