|26 January, 2020

Mideast Stocks - Major Gulf stocks slide on concern over spreading coronavirus

More than 2,000 people globally have been infected with a new coronavirus

All major stock markets in the Gulf opened lower on Sunday following a fall in crude prices over concerns that a coronavirus will spread farther in China, curbing travel and oil demand.

On Friday, Brent crude settled at $60.69 a barrel, down $1.35, or 2.2%. 

More than 2,000 people globally have been infected with a new coronavirus, the vast majority of them in China, where 56 people have died from the disease, according to figures released on Sunday.

In Saudi Arabia, the index fell 0.6% with Saudi Aramco declining 0.9% and Al Rajhi Bank shedding 0.6%.

The Saudi index sustained additional damage from a couple of poor corporate earnings.

Saudi Kayan Petrochemical, where the fourth quarter loss widened to 167.4 million riyals ($44.63 million), and Saudi Arabian Fertilizer, which reported a 40.5% decline in the profit for the same period, dropped 4.3% and 2.2% respectively.

The Dubai index was down 0.1% as Dubai Islamic Bank eased 0.7% and Emaar Malls lost 1.1%.

Abu Dhabi's index edged down 0.1% with Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB) and Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank both shedding 0.5%.

The lender ADCB postponed a meeting of its board of directors that was scheduled on Sunday to discuss the annual financial results.

In Qatar, the index slipped 0.2%. Qatar Gast Transport was down 1.2% while Qatar Fuel lost 0.4%. ($1 = 3.7511 riyals)

(Reporting by Maqsood Alam in Bengaluru, Editing by William Maclean) ((Maqsood.Alam@thomsonreuters.com;))

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