Middle East

Saudi index hits 15-year peak; Egypt falls on profit-taking

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Oct 19 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia closed at a more than 15-year high on Tuesday as crude prices resumed gains, while the Egyptian bourse retreated as investors booked profits following a recent rally.

Brent crude was up 65 cents, or 0.8%, to $84.98 a barrel by 1206 GMT as a supply crunch in natural gas, electricity and coal continued across the globe while falling temperatures in China revived concerns.

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index (.TASI) rose 0.3%, reaching its highest since July 2006, with Al Rajhi Bank (1120.SE) climbing 3.1%, finishing at its highest in over 15 years.

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Telecom firm Etihad Etisalat (7020.SE) gained about 3% after reporting a rise in quarterly profit.

The kingdom's crude oil exports in August rose for a fourth consecutive month to their highest since January 2021, the Joint Organisation Data Initiative said on Monday. read more

Outside the Gulf, Egypt's blue-chip index (.EGX30) fell 0.7%, snapping a 10-day winning streak with Commercial International Bank (COMI.CA) falling 1%.

In Abu Dhabi, the index (.ADI) eased 0.1%, weighed down by a 0.6% fall in top lender First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB.AD) and a 0.4% fall in conglomerate International Holding (IHC.AD).

Dubai's main share index (.DFMGI) gave up early gains to close flat, with top lender Emirates NBD (ENBD.DU) losing 0.7% ahead of its earnings.

Logistic firm Aramex (ARMX.DU) advanced 1.9% after it resumed deliveries to and from the United Arab Emirates and Doha.

Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt agreed in January to end a dispute that had led them to sever ties with Qatar in 2017 over accusations that Doha supported "terrorism" - a reference to Islamist groups. Doha denied the charges.

Dubai has signed an accord to build infrastructure in Jammu and Kashmir, the Indian government said on Monday, at a time when the Himalayan region is seeing a resurgence in violence. read more

The Qatari benchmark (.QSI) added 0.2%, supported by a 1% rise in Qatar National Bank (QNBK.QA), the Gulf's biggest lender.

Oman was closed for a public holiday.

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Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; editing by Jason Neely

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