October 6, 2019 / 1:49 PM / 17 days ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Most of Gulf rises on modest U.S. job growth, Saudi ends losing streak

    * Saudi snaps 3-day losing streak
    * Bahri sees biggest rise in almost a year
    * AXA Cooperative Insurance gains on capital increase nod
    * Dubai's Arabtec jumps on Aramco Contract
    * Amlak continues gaining on court ruling

    By Maqsood Alam  and Shamsuddin Mohd
    Oct 6 (Reuters) - Most Gulf markets closed higher on Sunday mirroring the
previous session's rise in global stocks on easing concerns about the U.S.
economy, while Saudi Arabia ended three consecutive days of losses. 
    The U.S. unemployment rate dropped to near a 50-year low of 3.5% in
September, with job growth increasing moderately, suggesting the slowing economy
could avoid a recession for now despite the trade dispute between the United
States and China.
    Saudi Arabia's index was up 0.5% with Jabal Omar Development
 adding 3.9% in what was the biggest boost for the index. The developer
and hospitality service provider rose in last six sessions after Saudi Arabia
launched a new visa regime for 49 countries and appealed to foreign companies to
invest in tourism sector.
    National Shipping Co. (Bahri) surged 4.8% to its sharpest
single-day percentage gain since Oct. 28 last year after the Ministry of Defence
extended shipment contract with the firm for a year, increasing the total deal
value to 421.7 million riyals ($112.5 million).
    Advanced Petrochemical gained 1.2% after reporting higher
third-quarter profit, while AXA Cooperative Insurance jumped 5.7%
after Saudi regulator approved its request for increasing the
capital.
    Improving the market sentiment was a potential ceasefire in Yemen after
Saudi Arabia was reported considering a proposal by the Iran-aligned Houthi
movement for some form of ceasefire which, if agreed, could bolster U.N. efforts
to end a devastating war that has tarnished Riyadh's reputation.
    In Dubai, the index closed 0.7% higher, offseting earlier losses in
the day. Dubai’s top lender Emirates NBD rose 0.8% and Arabtec Holding
 jumped 4.7%. 
    The contractor said its unit Target Engineering won a 280 million riyals
($74.67 million) contract from oil giant Saudi Aramco.
     Amlak Finance soared 14.5% to its highest level since November 28
last year. The sharia-compliant finance company has risen in recent sessions
following a court ruling that awarded 780 million dirhams ($212.36 million) in
an arbitration.
    Abu Dhabi's index edged up 0.2%, after four days of straight losses
with market heavyweight First Abu Dhabi Bank gaining 0.5% and Aldar
Properties increasing 1.5%.
    In Qatar, the index traded flat with Qatar Industries
gaining 0.9%.
    Egypt's stock market was closed for a public holiday. 
 SAUDI ARABIA  The index         was up 0.5% to 7,963 points
 ABU DHABI     The index        edged up 0.2% to 5,036 points
 DUBAI         The index          rose 0.7% to 2,781 points
 QATAR         The index        was flat at 10,314 points
 BAHRAIN       The index        traded flat at 1,512 points
 OMAN          The index        was flat at 4,027 points
 KUWAIT        The index        was up 0.8% to 6,165 points
 
    ($1 = 3.6730 UAE dirham)

 (Reporting by Maqsood Alam in Bengaluru)
  
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