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Markets

Saudi index falls in early trade; IHC supports

  • The benchmark index in Saudi Arabia was down 0.3%, with Al Rajhi Bank and the kingdom's largest lender Saudi National Bank losing 0.9% each
08 Jul 2021

Saudi Arabian shares eased in early trade on Thursday, mirroring a decline in oil prices, while the Abu Dhabi index saw some support from International Holding (IHC).

Brent crude oil futures slipped by 23 cents, or 0.3%, to $73.20 a barrel by 0644 GMT, amid uncertainty over supply after the collapse of talks this week among major producers which could potentially cause the current output agreement to be abandoned.

The benchmark index in Saudi Arabia was down 0.3%, with Al Rajhi Bank and the kingdom's largest lender Saudi National Bank losing 0.9% each.

The movement in oil prices is a key catalyst for the Gulf region's financial markets.

Qatar bourse gains as major Gulf markets ease

Russia is leading efforts to close divisions between Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to help strike a deal to raise oil output in coming months, Reuters reported, citing three OPEC+ sources.

The UAE on Friday accepted a proposal from Saudi Arabia to raise output in stages by about 2 million barrels per day from August to December 2021, but rejected an extension of cuts beyond April 2022, when the current agreement expires, without adjusting its baseline production - the level from which any cuts are calculated.

In Abu Dhabi, the index added 0.2%, with conglomerate International Holding gaining 1%, on track to extend gains for a ninth consecutive session.

The winning streak started with the listing of its unit Alpha Dhabi last week, in which IHC holds a 45% stake.

IHC, which operates in a range of sectors including healthcare and agriculture, has gone through rapid expansion across its major business sectors, resulting in sharp growth in its financials.

Dubai's main share index eased 0.1%, pressured by a 1.3% fall in logistic firm Aramex.

The Qatari benchmark edged up 0.1%, helped by a 1.2% rise in Qatar Gas Transport.

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