Middle East markets fall, Saudi Aramco drops

FILE PHOTO: A trader looks on near electronic boards showing stock market data at Bahrain Bourse after Joe Biden won the U.S. presidency, in Manama, Bahrain, November 8, 2020. REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

(Reuters) - Most markets in the Middle East ended lower on Tuesday, with Egypt’s blue-chip index losing over 0.6%.

The Egyptian Stock Exchange was forced to suspend trading for half an hour after the EGX 100 index saw a 5 percent loss in value.

“The sharp fall came from individual investors’ trading activities, which pushed the EGX to incur significant losses on Monday. The main EGX index lost 2.4 percent, with all shares declining by over $1.1 billion in market value,” said Michael Stark, research analyst at Exness.

Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index snapped its two-day winning streak to end down 0.6%.

Oil giant Saudi Aramco dropped 1.3% after rising for the past two sessions after reporting its earnings earlier this week and announcing that debt-to-equity ratio more than doubled in 2020.

Dubai’s main share index reversed early gains to end 0.7% lower in its third consecutive session of losses. Top lender Emirates NBD and blue-chip developer Emaar Properties dragged the index.

In Qatar, the index also lost 0.3%. Financials weighed on sentiment, with Qatar Islamic Bank and Qatar International Islamic Bank down 0.6% and 1.3% respectively.

Abu Dhabi’s index ended nearly flat with a 0.03% gain. A rise in consumer stocks was offset by a fall in the real estate sector.

Commercial Bank International closed 7.7% higher after it said on Monday that shareholders had rejected increasing capital.

Reporting by Tanvi Mehta and Ateeq Ur Shariff in Bengaluru; editing by Jonathan Oatis