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) ((AteeqUr.Shariff@thomsonreuters.com; +918061822788;))