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Markets

UAE markets extend winning run; Qatar little changed

  • Dubai, Abu Dhabi gain for 4th straight session.
  • Oil prices hit highest level in 11 months.
  • Egypt c.bank bans banks from distributing dividends.
12 Jan 2021

Stock markets in the United Arab Emirates extended their winning run on Tuesday with financials lifting the Abu Dhabi benchmark to its fourth straight session of gains.

The Abu Dhabi index finished 0.4% higher as the UAE's largest lender, First Abu Dhabi Bank, firmed 0.9%, while Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank added 1%.

In Dubai, the main share index tacked on nearly a percent, supported by a 1.2% gain in sharia-compliant lender Dubai Islamic Bank and a 0.9% rise in Emirates NBD Bank, the emirate's biggest bank.

The Abu Dhabi and Dubai benchmarks have now ended seven sessions in positive territory out of the eight trading days so far in the New Year.

Underpinning the broader regional gains on the day, oil hit an 11-month high towards $57 a barrel as tighter supply and expectations of a drop in US petroleum inventories offset concerns over climbing coronavirus cases globally.

Saudi Arabia plans to cut output by an extra 1 million barrels per day (bpd) in February and March to stop inventories from building up. The latest US supply reports are expected to show crude stocks fell for a fifth straight week.

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index added 0.2%. Healthcare firm Dr. Sulaiman Al-Habib Medical Services Group Co was the best performer in the index, gaining 1.4%.

Air conditioner maker Al-Omran Industrial and Trading Co gained nearly 10%, while financial firm Allied Cooperative Insurance Group put on 8.8%

Elsewhere, in Qatar, the index ended the day's trading little changed.

Telecoms firm Ooredoo and consumer staples company Baladna Co put on 2.5% and 2.2%, respectively, while real estate stock Ezdan Holdings declined 3.5%.

Outside the Gulf, Egypt's blue-chip index strengthened 0.5%, aided by a 2.1% gain in the nation's largest private bank Commercial International Bank.

Egypt's central bank has told banks it was banning them from distributing profits to shareholders to protect capital amid the COVID-19 crisis.

Some other financial stocks declined, including Credit Agricole Egypt and Export Development Bank Of Egypt , which fell 8.3% and 2.2%, respectively.