DUBAI: Stock markets in the United Arab Emirates ended higher on Thursday, on the back of financials and energy shares, while the Saudi index ended a four-day winning streak.
Dubai’s main share index advanced 1%, with its largest lender Emirates NBD rising 2.6%, while Shariah-compliant lender Dubai Islamic Bank closed 1.5% higher.
Elsewhere, Dubai Investments rose 3.4% after announcing a 8% cash dividend for the year 2020.
In Abu Dhabi, the index added 0.4%, led by a 0.8% increase in market heavyweight First Abu Dhabi Bank and an 8% jump in Dana Gas - its sharpest daily gain since December 2018.
Dana Gas announced a 5.5 fils per share dividend for the year 2020, despite posting a 1.38 billion dirhams loss for the year.
Governments of United Arab Emirates and Israel have entered formal talks to establish a quarantine-free travel corridor between the two countries to boost bilateral exchange following a normalisation deal, state news agency WAM reported on Wednesday.
UAE and Israel are among the countries with the world’s fastest COVID-19 vaccination programmes.
Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index eased 0.1%, snapping four sessions of gains, hit by a 1.7% fall in Al Rajhi Bank.
However, the index managed a fifth successive weekly gain, adding 3.7% during the week.
The Qatari index lost nearly 0.5%, with petrochemical maker Industries Qatar shedding 1.7% to be the worst performer on the benchmark.
The benchmark logged its first weekly gain of 2.2% in four weeks, advancing in three of the last four trading days.
Outside the Gulf, Egypt’s blue-chip index edged up 0.2%.