Mideast stocks see mixed trend at opening

Published: May 14, 2018 15:57:18 | Updated: May 16, 2018 11:04:40

File Photo (Reuters)

Gulf markets were mixed in early trade on Monday, showing signs of recovery from jitters last week over the US decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal.

Saudi and Qatari stocks were up, helped by support from banking stocks. The Saudi index was up 0.2 per cent as Al Rajhi Bank rose 0.5 per cent and Samba Financial Group gained 0.6 per cent.

The Saudi market has seen a recovery after it dipped below the 8000-point level on May 10 on profit taking after sharp gains this year on foreign fund flows on expectations of an upgrade of the stock market to emerging market status.

In March, global index compiler FTSE Russell decided to upgrade Saudi Arabia to emerging market status, and MSCI is widely expected to make a similar decision in June.

Saudi stocks are up 11 per cent so far this year, but this month the index is down 2.0 per cent.

Gains in Qatar National Bank, which was up 1.4 per cent, provided support to the Qatari index which traded 0.3 per cent higher in early trading.

The Dubai index was up 0.1 per cent, as market heavyweight Emaar Properties rose 1.2 per cent.

Shares of Al Salam Bank Bahrain were up 7.6 per cent in Dubai trading after the lender reported a 10 per cent rise in first quarter net profit.

There was little trading on the Bahrain bourse in this stock, reports Reuters.

In Abu Dhabi, Dana Gas fell 0.9 per cent on profit-taking after it surged 3.9 per cent a day earlier on news that the company had struck a deal with creditors on restructuring $700 million of sukuk, potentially bringing to an end a nearly year-long legal row that spooked investors in Islamic finance.

However, the Abu Dhabi index was up 0.3 per cent, supported by a 0.4 per cent gain in First Abu Dhabi Bank and 1.0 per cent rise in Aldar Properties.

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