MIDEAST STOCKS Oil Prices Aid Saudi Shares; Other Gulf Bourses Mixed

Saudi traders are seen as they monitor stock information at the Saudi stock market in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia August 25, 2020. REUTERS/Ahmed Yosri

Saudi Arabian shares gained in early trade on Tuesday following a rise in crude prices on demand hopes, while other major markets traded mixed.

Brent crude oil futures were up 46 cents, or 0.7%, to $69.21 a barrel by 0648 GMT, after the U.S. drug regulator granted full approval to the Pfizer Inc/BioNTech SE COVID-19 vaccine, stoking investor hopes that higher fuel demand would follow a potential rise in U.S. coronavirus vaccination rates.

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index (.TASI) firmed 0.1%, with oil giant Saudi Aramco (2222.SE) rising 0.6% and Al Rajhi Bank (1120.SE) putting on 0.3%.

The value of the kingdom's oil exports in June increased 123% to 61.5 billion riyals ($16.4 billion) from a year earlier while non-oil exports rose by around 41%, official data showed on Tuesday.

In Abu Dhabi, the index (.ADI) fell 0.3%, hit by a 1.2% fall in telecoms firm Etisalat (ETISALAT.AD) and a 0.4% decline in the country's largest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB.AD).

On the other hand, conglomerate International Holding Co (IHC) (IHC.AD) edged up 0.1%.

IHC, the most valuable company on the Abu Dhabi bourse, is considering acquisitions worth a few billion dollars in total across several sectors, including a real estate developer in Abu Dhabi, its chief executive Syed Basar Shueb told Reuters.

Dubai's main share index (.DFMGI) added 0.1%, helped by a 0.4% increase in top lender Emirates NBD (ENBD.DU).

The index also saw some support from property firms including Union Properties (UPRO.DU), up 2.4%.

Dubai's residential property market is on a steady course, with prices expected to rise modestly over the next couple of years, according to a Reuter poll of housing analysts. read more

The Qatari index (.QSI) fell 0.2%, pressured by a 0.6% fall in Qatar National Bank (QNBK.QA), the Gulf's largest lender, and a 0.3% decrease in Commercial Bank (COMB.QA).

Commercial Bank borrowed $875 million to refinance existing debt and support general funding requirements, it said in a stock exchange filing on Monday.


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