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Saudi Arabia’s stock market extended its losses on Wednesday as profit-taking continued after it hit nine-month high last week, while the Qatar bourse snapped a 15-day winning streak.

Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index fell for a fifth session to close 1.4% lower, with Al Rajhi Bank losing 2.6%, while Saudi National Bank retreated 2.6% as the top lender traded ex-dividend.

Among other losers, Saudi Airlines Catering plunged 8%, to become the top loser on the Saudi index, after the firm missed quarterly profit estimates.

The Saudi stock market continued to see profit-taking while mixed company earnings could continue to affect sentiment, Daniel Takieddine, CEO MENA at BDSwiss, said.

“While increasing oil prices could improve sentiment, production cuts could become a source of concern,” he said.

Most Gulf markets rise on corporate earnings, oil; Saudi extends losses

The Qatari benchmark dropped 1.1%, snapping a 15-day winning streak, as most of the stocks on the index were in negative territory including Qatar Islamic Bank, which was down 1.7%.

In Abu Dhabi, the index gained 0.5%, with Q Holding soaring about 15%, hitting a five-month high, after receiving an offer from ADQ and IHC capital to combine their holdings in Modon Properties into Q Holding.

The Abu Dhabi bourse maintained its positive trend, helped by the strength in oil markets as well as the solid local fundamentals, Takieddine said.

Oil prices - a key catalyst for the Gulf’s financial markets - surged, trading near their highest levels since April, buoyed by crude and fuel product inventory data showing robust U.S. demand.

Dubai’s main share index finished 0.2% higher, trading at eight year high, helped by a 0.6% gain in blue-chip developer Emaar Properties.

Outside the Gulf, Egypt’s blue-chip index eased 0.3%, extending losses from the previous session.

Egypt’s net foreign assets (NFAs) fell further into deficit in June, with the gap widening by 82.1 billion Egyptian pounds ($2.66 billion) from the previous month to negative 837.3 billion pounds, according to central bank data.

======================================= 
 SAUDI ARABIA    fell 1.4% to 11,478
 ABU DHABI       rose 0.5% to 9,826
 DUBAI           added 0.2% to 4,084
 QATAR           dropped 1.1% to 10,983
 EGYPT           lost 0.3% to 17,456
 BAHRAIN         eased 0.2% to 1,988
 OMAN            rose 0.2% to 4,799
 KUWAIT          down 0.7% to 7,980
======================================= 

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