Most major Gulf markets plunge as financial stocks weigh


Most major Gulf stock markets ended lower on Thursday, hurt by losses in financial stocks, although the Abu Dhabi index reversed course to close higher.

Saudi Arabia’s benchmark fell 0.1%, with Banque Saudi Fransi losing 4.5% and Riyadh Bank losing 2.2%.

Dubai’s main stock index fell 0.5%, weighed down by a 1.2% decline in Shariah-compliant lender Dubai Islamic Bank and a 2.6% decline in logistics firm Aramex.

The United Arab Emirates recorded its highest daily number of COVID-19 infections in more than a month on Wednesday, a day after the health minister warned that cases could rise.

In Abu Dhabi, the index gained 0.9%, led by a 6.5% jump in Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank and a 6% rise in Aldar Properties.

The Abu Dhabi government is in talks with banks for a new international bond issue, Reuters reported, citing sources, having already raised $10 billion via debt issues this year to support its finances amid a downturn. oil prices and the coronavirus crisis.

The Qatari index lost 0.5%, with 15 of the index’s 20 stocks down. Lender Masraf Al Rayan fell 1.3%, while Commercial Bank slipped 1.9%.

** Kuwait, Bahrain and Egypt were closed for a public holiday.

(Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel) ((; +918061822788;))


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