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Gulf stock markets ended mixed on Monday as investors remained cautious ahead of U.S. debt ceiling talks, with UAE indexes closing higher, while Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index fell for a second day weighed down in part by volatile energy prices.

U.S. President Joe Biden and House Republican Speaker Kevin McCarthy will meet to discuss the debt ceiling later in the day.

Overall stock markets in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) were seeing some volatility in reaction to local and global developments such as energy prices volatility and weak company earnings in some markets, Daniel Takieddine, CEO MENA at BDSwiss, said.

Saudi Arabia’s benchmark stock index fell 0.1%, with healthcare and material stocks leading losses.

Saudi Arabian Mining Co (Ma’aden), the largest miner in the Gulf, fell more than 2% after reporting a more than 80% slump in its first-quarter net profit to 419.4 million riyals ($111.84 million) year-on-year.

State oil giant and index heavyweight Saudi Aramco was down 0.5%.

Most Gulf markets rise; Saudi extends losses as oil prices slump

Among other stocks, Scientific and Medical Equipment House Co fell more than 4%, its biggest intraday loss in nearly seven months, after posting a 63% year-on-year decline in first-quarter net profit to 6.3 million riyals.

Dubai’s main share index edged up 0.1%, following two consecutive sessions of losses, helped by a 2.3% increase in Emirates Central Cooling Systems Corp and a 1.4% gain in Dubai Investments.

In Abu Dhabi, the benchmark index rose 0.5%, boosted by a 5.4% surge in Alpha Dhabi Holding and a 3.7 jump in Emirates Telecommunications Group.

The benchmark stock index in Qatar fell 0.1%, led by losses in its financial and industrial stocks, with Qatar Islamic Bank losing 0.8%, while chemical makers Industries Qatar was down 0.5%.

Outside the Gulf, Egypt’s blue-chip index fell 0.6%, with almost all the sectors in negative territory.

The country’s lone cigarette maker Eastern Co dropped 2.4% and Abu Qir Fertilizers and Chemical Industries fell nearly 2%.

==========================================
 SAUDI ARABIA     edged up 0.1% to 11,329
 ABU DHABI        rose 0.5% to 9,527
 DUBAI            edged up 0.1% to 3,549
 QATAR            eased 0.1% to 10,637
 EGYPT            fell 0.6% to 16,764
 BAHRAIN          inched up 0.1% to 1,950
 OMAN             lost 0.2% 4,703
 KUWAIT           declined 0.9% to 7,464
==========================================

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