DUBAI: Most major stock markets in the Gulf ended lower on Monday, mirroring falling oil prices, while the Abu Dhabi index was boosted by gains in conglomerate International Holding (IHC).
Brent crude futures had fallen $2.66, or 3.9%, to $68.04 a barrel by 1212 GMT, on a rising US dollar and concerns that new coronavirus-related restrictions in Asia, especially China, could slow a global recovery in fuel demand.
“Equities in the region were impacted by the oil price retreat globally and COVID uncertainties returning as a priority,” said Daniel Takieddine, senior market analyst at FXPrimus.
In Abu Dhabi, the index advanced 1%, hitting a record, with International Holding jumping 3.3% following a surge in its first-half net profit.
IHC reported net profit of 4.36 billion dirhams ($1.19 billion), up from 814 million year earlier.
The firm’s market capitalisation hit 201.7 billion dirhams in late June, making it Abu Dhabi’s most valuable listed company, after the market debut of Alpha Dhabi, in which IHC holds a 45% stake.
Among other gainers, Abu Dhabi National Insurance Co leapt 6%, as the insurer reported a rise in second-quarter net.
Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index eased 0.2%, hit by a 2.3% fall in Saudi Basic Industries Corp and a 1.5% fall in Dr Sulaiman Al-Habib Medical Services, ending eight sessions of gains.
The Qatari benchmark lost 0.1%, with Qatar International Islamic Bank and Qatar Islamic Bank , losing 1.2% and 0.3%, respectively.
Dubai’s main share index was flat, as gains in financial shares were offset by declines in property stocks.
Outside the Gulf, Egypt’s blue-chip index gained 0.6%, led by a 1.7% increase in top lender Commercial International Bank.
Elsewhere, Ezz Steel finished 0.5%, after it turned to profit in the first-half.
Kuwait was closed for a public holiday.
SAUDI ARABIA fell 0.2% to 11,198
ABU DHABI gained 1% to 7,573
DUBAI was fat at 2,823
QATAR eased 0.1% to 10,941
EGYPT up 0.6% to 10,800
BAHRAIN dropped 0.2% to 1,611
OMAN lost 0.2% to 4,000.