August 28, 2017 / 7:32 AM / a year ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Banks help lift Saudi as neighbouring markets weaken

DUBAI, Aug 28 (Reuters) - Banking shares helped to keep Saudi Arabia’s stock market firm in early trade on Monday while the rest of the region continued to weaken in anaemic trade.

The Riyadh index rose 0.1 percent after 25 minutes as the two largest banks gained, with National Commercial Bank adding 0.4 percent and Al Rajhi up 0.6 percent.

Dubai’s index, which had been the region’s worst performer on Sunday, lost 0.2 percent on Monday morning as 16 shares dropped, including GFH Financial Group down 1.1 percent.

In Abu Dhabi, the index fell 0.3 percent, weighed down by declines in two of the most valuable shares: telecommunications operator Etisalat was down 0.6 percent and First Abu Dhabi Bank slipped 0.5 percent.

Qatar’s index was down 0.2 percent, heading for its fourth straight session of losses; petrochemical maker Industries Qatar, the most heavily traded stock on Monday morning, dipped 0.2 percent. (Reporting by Celine Aswad; Editing by Andrew Torchia and Robin Pomeroy)

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