|18 August, 2019

Mideast Stocks: Saudi stocks pressured by banks, Industries Qatar lifts Doha

FAB weighs on Abu Dhabi stocks

A screen displaying stock market prices is seen at an investment bank in Riyadh in this file photo taken June 9, 2013.

A screen displaying stock market prices is seen at an investment bank in Riyadh in this file photo taken June 9, 2013.

REUTERS/Faisal Al Nasser/Files

DUBAI- Saudi shares ended lower on Sunday, hit by weakness in banking stocks, while the Qatari index snapped a three-day losing streak as Industries Qatar's rebounded after steep declines on its first-half results.

The Saudi index eased by 0.3%, with Saudi British Bank 1060.SE dropping about 1.3% and Samba Financial Group falling 1.3%. The Riyadh market had resumed trade after closing last week for the Eidul Adha religious festival.

Banking stocks have come under pressure in recent weeks from the Saudi central bank's decision to follow the U.S. Federal Reserve in cutting interest rates, which analysts expect to squeeze lenders' profit margins.

Qatar shares ended their losing run thanks to market heavyweight Industries Qatar's 4.3% jump after six sessions of declines. 

"IQ went down so much last week that it became a compelling valuation despite the poor results," said Talal Samhouri, head of asset management at Amwal, adding that the index was also buoyed by gains on international markets.

U.S. and European stocks surged on Friday on expectations that the European Central Bank will cut interest rates, but the dollar pared gains against the euro after a newspaper report said the German government was prepared to take on new debt to provide economic stimulus. 

The Abu Dhabi market slipped 0.3%, with First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) dipping 0.8%.

Kuwaiti stocks fell 1.7%, hurt by a 2.2% drop in Kuwait Finance House.

(Reporting by Saeed Azhar Additional reporting by Nafisa Eltahir in Cairo Editing by David Goodman) ((Saeed.azhar@thomsonreuters.com;))

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