Saudi stock market down in early trade as Aramco slips for a fourth day

Reuters , Sunday 22 Dec 2019

Oil giant Saudi Aramco dropped 1.1% to 35.1 riyals ($9.36) in its fourth straight fall

File Photo: Saudi Arabia's oil giant Aramco (Photo: AFP)

Saudi Arabia’s stock market eased in early trade on Sunday as most financial and energy shares traded lower, meanwhile Qatar extended gains as bank shares rose.

Saudi’s index was down 0.2% after five consecutive days of gains. Oil giant Saudi Aramco dropped 1.1% to 35.1 riyals ($9.36) in its fourth straight fall.

Last week, Aramco was included in the MSCI, Saudi Tadawul index and FTSE benchmark.

Among banking shares , National Commercial Bank and Riyad Bank slipped 0.8 and 0.6%, respectively. The two lenders ended talks last week on their potential merger.

The Qatari index, reopening after a four-day break, added a further 1.4%, to extend gains made on Tuesday.

Last week, Qatar announced its biggest budget in five years. The Gulf state said it would spend 1.9% more in 2020 than this year, outlining a 210.5 billion Qatari riyal ($58 billion) budget to complete infrastructure projects including facilities for the 2022 soccer World Cup.

The Gulf’s largest lender Qatar National Bank jumped 4.1% and Qatar Islamic Bank rose 2.8%.

Dubai’s index inched up 0.4%, led by a 1.3% rise in Dubai Islamic Bank. On Wednesday, shareholders of the United Arab Emirates’ largest sharia-compliant bank approved the acquisition of unlisted Dubai-based Noor Bank.

Among other stocks, Dubai’s largest listed developer Emaar Properties was up 0.7%.

In Abu Dhabi, the index slipped 0.3% with First Abu Dhabi Bank edging down 0.8% and Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank was down 0.1%.

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