August 18, 2019 / 1:20 PM / 2 months ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi stocks pressured by banks, Industries Qatar lifts Doha

    * Qatari stocks advance after three days of losses
    * FAB weighs on Abu Dhabi stocks

    By Saeed Azhar
    DUBAI, Aug 18 (Reuters) - Saudi shares ended lower on Sunday, hit by
weakness in banking stocks, while the Qatari index snapped a three-day losing
streak as Industries Qatar's rebounded after steep declines on its
first-half results.
    The Saudi index eased by 0.3%, with Saudi British Bank
dropping about 1.3% and Samba Financial Group falling 1.3%. The Riyadh
market had resumed trade after closing last week for the Eidul Adha religious
festival. 
    Banking stocks have come under pressure in recent weeks from the Saudi
central bank's decision to follow the U.S. Federal Reserve in cutting interest
rates, which analysts expect to squeeze lenders' profit margins. 
    Qatar shares ended their losing run thanks to market heavyweight Industries
Qatar's 4.3% jump after six sessions of declines.. 
    "IQ went down so much last week that it became a compelling valuation
despite the poor results," said Talal Samhouri, head of asset management at
Amwal, adding that the index was also buoyed by gains on international markets.
    U.S. and European stocks surged on Friday on expectations that the European
Central Bank will cut interest rates, but the dollar pared gains against the
euro after a newspaper report said the German government was prepared to take on
new debt to provide economic stimulus.
    The Abu Dhabi market slipped 0.3%, with First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) 
 dipping 0.8%. 
    Kuwaiti stocks fell 1.7%, hurt by a 2.2% drop in Kuwait Finance House
.
 
 SAUDI ARABIA  The index         was down 0.3 % to 8,527 points
 ABU DHABI     The index        lost 0.3% to 5,039 points
 DUBAI         The index          was flat to 2,797 points
 QATAR         The index        rose 1.7% to 9,782 points
 EGYPT         The index          rose 0.7% to 1,4400 points
 BAHRAIN       The index        fell 0.3% 1,530 points
 OMAN          The index        was flat at 3,862 points
 KUWAIT        The index        fell 1.7 at 6,572 points
 
 (Reporting by Saeed Azhar
Additional reporting by Nafisa Eltahir in Cairo
Editing by David Goodman)
  
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