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Markets

Most Gulf markets ease in line with Asian stocks

  • Qatar index extends losses for fourth session.
  • Gulf's 2021 rebound to be slower than expected – poll.
  • Asian stocks fall on US stimulus worries.
Published January 26, 2021

Most Gulf markets ended lower on Tuesday, mirroring Asian shares, as concerns about potential roadblocks to new US President Joe Biden's planned $1.9 trillion stimulus weighed on investor sentiment.

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index lost 0.7%, weighed down by a 1% fall in Al Rajhi Bank and a 2.2% decline in the country's largest lender National Commercial Bank .

The Dubai index declined 0.9%, its third loss in four sessions, hit by a 1.8% fall in the blue-chip developer Emaar Properties and a 1.3% retreat in Emirates NBD Bank.

Abu Dhabi's benchmark slipped 0.6%, pressured by a 1.7% drop in the United Arab Emirates' largest lender First Abu Dhabi.

The number of daily coronavirus cases in the UAE, a federation of seven emirates, has tripled in the past month. On Monday authorities registered 3,579 new infections and nine deaths. They do not provide a breakdown per emirate.

Forecasts for economic recoveries in the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council in 2021 have been trimmed while expectations for gross domestic product declines last year were mixed in a quarterly Reuters survey of analysts released on Tuesday.

Elsewhere, the Qatari benchmark, closed 0.3% down, extending losses for a fourth straight session.

The top decliners included Qatar National Bank and Qatar Gas Transport Co, which fell 1% and 1.8%, respectively.

Outside the Gulf, Egypt's blue-chip index, bucked the trend to finish 0.2% higher, supported by a 6.3% jump in Juhayna Food Industries.

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