Most major Gulf markets fall; Abu Dhabi gains

(Reuters) - Most major stock markets in the Gulf ended lower on Monday, with the Saudi index pressured by its financial shares, while Abu Dhabi bucked the trend.

FILE PHOTO: A Saudi trader observes the stock market on monitors at Falcom stock exchange agency in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia February 7, 2018. REUTERS/Faisal Al Nasser

Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index slipped 0.3%, hit by a 1.5% fall in Al Rajhi Bank and a 2.2% decrease in Saudi National Bank, the kingdom’s largest lender.

Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthi movement said on Monday it had fired 17 drones and two ballistic missiles at targets in Saudi Arabia, including Saudi Aramco facilities in Jubail and Jeddah.

There was no immediate Saudi confirmation of the attack.

In Dubai, the main share index fell 0.3%, hit by a 1.6% drop in blue-chip developer Emaar Properties and a 1.7% decrease in Emaar Malls.

In the previous session, Emaar Properties gained 1.7% after its managing director on Thursday said the company achieved first-quarter sales of 6 billion dirhams ($1.63 billion), compared with 2.5 billion dirhams a year earlier.

The Abu Dhabi index rose 0.4%, supported by a 0.6% gain in the country’s largest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank.

In Qatar, the benchmark index lost 0.6%, with petrochemical firm Industries Qatar falling 1.4% and Commercial Bank retreating 3%.

However, Qatar National Bank (QNB), the biggest lender in the Gulf, added 0.6%.

On Sunday, the lender reported a first quarter net profit of 3.3 billion riyals ($906.22 million), down by 7% from a year earlier as it booked 1.4 billion riyals in “precautionary” loan-loss provisions.

However, QNB’s total assets grew by 8% from a year earlier to 1.042 trillion riyals at the end of March, the bank said in a statement.

Outside the Gulf, Egypt’s blue-chip index gained 0.5%, led by a 1.1% rise in Fawry For Banking Technology and a 9.8% jump in Alexandria Mineral Oils after it posted net profit for the nine-month ending March 31.

SAUDI ARABIA fell 0.3% to 9,908

ABU DHABI added 0.4% to 6,092

DUBAI down 0.3% to 2,586

QATAR lost 0.6% to 10,501

EGYPT rose 0.5% to 10,450

BAHRAIN was up 0.4% to 1,463

OMAN up 0.2% to 3,726

KUWAIT down 0.4% to 6,542

($1 = 3.6728 UAE dirham)

($1 = 3.6415 Qatar riyals)

Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; editing by Jonathan Oatis