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Major Gulf markets rise in early trade; Saudi extends loss

News Team

Major stock markets in the Gulf edged higher in early trade on Wednesday, on course to claw back some of its losses from the previous session, although the Saudi index bucked the trend to trade lower.

Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index.TASI dropped 0.4%, hit by a 2.6% fall in the country’s biggest lender Saudi National Bank 1180.SE, and a 1.5% decline in Al Rajhi Bank 1120.SE. The index had fallen more than 2% on Tuesday.

The International Monetary Fund lowered its 2024 forecast for economic growth in Saudi Arabia to 2.7% on Tuesday, projecting a slower recovery amid lower oil production, but said non-oil growth this year was expected to remain “robust”.

Saudi Arabia’s government on Tuesday ordered state oil company Aramco 2222.SE to halt its oil expansion plan and to target a maximum sustained production capacity of 12 million barrels per day (bpd), 1 million bpd below a target announced in 2020.

Shares of Aramco were down 0.2%.

Oil prices – a catalyst for the Gulf’s financial markets – fell as lacklustre economic activity in China, the world’s biggest crude importer, weighed on sentiment, but prices were set for their first monthly gain since September as broadening Middle East conflicts raised supply concerns.

Dubai’s main share index .DFMGI added 0.2%, helped by a 1.1% rise in blue-chip developer Emaar Properties EMAR.DU, while Tecom Group TECOM.DU advanced 2.2% following a sharp rise in annual profit.

In Abu Dhabi, the index .FTFADGI added 0.1%.

The Qatari benchmark .QSI gained 0.5%, with Qatar Islamic Bank QISB.QA rising 1.1%.

On Tuesday, Hamas said it had received and was studying a new proposal for a ceasefire and release of hostages in Gaza, presented by mediators after talks with Israel, in what appeared to be the most serious peace initiative for months. 

Source: https://www.nasdaq.com/articles/mideast-stocks-major-gulf-markets-rise-in-early-trade-saudi-extends-loss