February 9, 2020 / 1:38 PM / 18 days ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi leads most of Gulf lower; Aramco rebounds

    * Aramco snaps five days of losses
    * Saudi banks slide
    * UDC extends losses on poor earnings

    By Maqsood Alam
    Feb 9 (Reuters) - Most major Gulf markets fell on Sunday, led by Saudi
Arabia as concerns about the effect of the spread of the coronavirus on oil
prices weighed on the country's petrochemical and banking shares.
    Oil prices posted their fifth straight weekly decline, as speculators backed
away due to weaker consumption figures and expectations the coronavirus will
remain a drag on demand.
    The death toll from the virus reached 811 on Sunday.
    Saudi Arabia's benchmark index fell 1.3%, weighed down by a 1.7%
slide in Al Rajhi Bank and 2.6% fall in Saudi Basic Industries
.
     State-owned Saudi Aramco closed up 2% at 34.05 riyals, however,
having earlier touched a new low of 32.8 riyals, not far from its initial public
offering price of 32 riyals.
    In Dubai, the index slipped 0.6% with Dubai Islamic Bank
losing 0.9% and Emaar Properties shedding 0.8%.
    Emaar Malls dropped 2.3%. After the market closed, the mall
operator reported a more than 6% decline in fourth-quarter profit to 554 million
dirhams ($150.83 million).
    Qatar's index was down 0.5%, hurt by a 7.4% slide in United
Development Company (UDC) as it extended the previous session's
losses. 
    On Thursday, the firm saw its biggest intraday fall since January 2016,
after reporting a decline in annual profit.
    The Abu Dhabi index edged up 0.1% as United Arab Bank jumped 10.3%
after the lender said its board will meet on Wednesday to discuss financial
results.
    In Egypt, the blue-chip index was flat with Commercial International
Bank Egypt losing 1% and Ibnsina Pharma gaining 2.9%.
    
 SAUDI ARABIA          dropped 1.3 % to 7,953 points
 ABU DHABI            edged up 0.1% to 5,090 points
 DUBAI                  slipped 0.6% to 2,752 points
 QATAR                was down 0.5% to 10,149 points
 EGYPT                  was flat at 14,108 points
 BAHRAIN              edged up 0.2% to 1,659 points
 OMAN                 inched down 0.1% to 4,126 points
 KUWAIT               was down 0.4% to 6,959 points
 

($1 = 3.6730 UAE dirham)

 (Reporting by Maqsood Alam in Bengaluru; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)
  
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