Egypt index outperforms, while major Gulf markets ease

(Reuters) - Egypt’s stock market ended higher on Wednesday following a deep fall in the country’s inflation, while losses in financial shares weighed on most major Gulf indexes.

FILE PHOTO: A trader looks at the screens at Bahrain Bourse in Manama, Bahrain, February 7, 2018. REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

Egypt’s inflation has fallen to some of its lowest levels in well over a decade, potentially triggering consultations with the International Monetary Fund under the conditions of a new $5.2 billion loan.

Egypt's blue-chip index .EGX30 climbed 1.6%, as most of the stocks were in positive territory including Commercial International Bank COMI.CA, which was up 1.5%.

If inflation falls too quickly, the IMF could argue that the central bank’s monetary committee should consider lowering interest rates when it next meets on Nov. 12, Reuters reported, citing some economists.

The benchmark index .TASI in Saudi Arabia slipped 0.1%, hurt by a 1.1% fall in Dr-Sulaiman Al-Habib Medical Services 4013.SE and a 1.6% retreat in Savola Group 2050.SE.

Dubai's main share index .DFMGI fell 0.6%, with blue-chip developer Emaar Properties EMAR.DU losing 1.5% and its unit Emaar Malls EMAA.DU down 2.8%.

The United Arab Emirates, with a population of around 9.9 million people, surpassed 100,000 recorded cases of COVID-19 infection on Tuesday.

Authorities have blamed people’s poor adherence to social distancing for the rise. The government does not disclose where in the seven emirates that make up the UAE the cases occur.

The Abu Dhabi index .ADI added 0.3%, with telecoms firm Etisalat ETISALAT.AD rising 1%, while Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank ADCB.AD closed up 1.3%.

In Qatar, the index .QSI dropped 0.8%, with petrochemical maker Industries Qatar IQCD.QA shedding 3.9%, and Qatar National Bank QNBK.QA down 0.6%.

SAUDI ARABIA .TASI eased 0.1% to 8,359 points

ABU DHABI .ADI rose 0.3% to 4,495 points

DUBAI .DFMGI fell 0.6% to 2,213 points

QATAR .QSI lost 0.8% to 9,932 points

EGYPT .EGX30 rose 1.6% to 11,327 points

BAHRAIN .BAX gained 0.3% to 1,449 points

OMAN .MSI added 0.1% to 3,608 points

KUWAIT .BKP was up 0.9% at 6,325 points

Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber