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Most stock markets in the Gulf closed higher on Tuesday, with the Saudi index outperforming the region, having fallen sharply for several sessions over economic growth concerns.

Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index rebounded 1%, having fallen more than 5% in the previous three sessions, bolstered by a 1.5% rise in Al Rajhi Bank and a 0.6% gain in Retal Urban Development Co.

Separately, chief executive officer of NEOM Tech & Digital said on Tuesday it had invested $1 billion in 2022 in artificial intelligence segment, including a metaverse platform. NEOM Tech & Digital is a subsidiary of the $500-billion signature NEOM project of the Saudi crown prince.

Neom is part of the kingdom’s Vision 2030 national development plan in which Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has poured hundreds of billions of dollars, with the aim of transforming the Saudi economy, creating jobs for its citizens, and reducing its dependence on oil.

Dubai’s main share index snapped a four-session losing streak to close 0.7% higher, buoyed by a 5.2% jump in Emirates NBD Bank.

Saudi leads Gulf bourses lower on recession worries

The Qatari benchmark finished 0.5% higher, helped by a 3.2% leap in Qatar Gas Transport.

The Qatari stock market rebounded slightly thanks to stronger natural gas prices which rose in reaction to incidents related to European pipelines, said Ahmed Fouad, sales head at Emporium Capital.

Europe on Tuesday sought to investigate possible sabotage behind sudden and unexplained leaks in two Russian gas pipelines under the Baltic Sea, which sent gas prices soaring and sparked a hunt for alternative energy supplies.

The Abu Dhabi index, however, bucked the Gulf trend to close 0.7% lower, hit by a 0.3% fall in conglomerate International Holding.

According to Fouad, the market could find some support in a reversal in the oil price trend and new initial public offerings.

Oil rose more than 1% from a nine-month low a day earlier, supported by supply curbs in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico ahead of Hurricane Ian and a slight softening in the U.S. dollar.

Saudi Arabia’s wealth fund hires banks for debut green bonds

The hurricane could temporarily affect the market but it remains under downward pressure, said Fouad.

Outside the Gulf, Egypt’s blue-chip index eased 0.1%, extending losses to a fourth session.

=======================================
 SAUDI ARABIA    advanced 1% to 11,017
 ABU DHABI       fell 0.7% to 9,733
 DUBAI           rose 0.7% to 3,373
 QATAR           gained 0.7% to 12,369
 EGYPT           down 0.1% to 9,817
 BAHRAIN         was flat at 1,883
 OMAN            rose 0.8% to 4,494
 KUWAIT          added 0.5% to 8,072
=======================================

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