(Reuters) – Saudi Arabia’s stock market was the sole gainer in early trading on Thursday, with most major Gulf bourses sliding before corporate earnings announcements next week.
Saudi’s main index <.TASI> rose 0.4 percent, with petrochemical company Saudi Basic Industries <2010.SE> adding 0.5 percent and Saudi British Bank <1060.SE> rising 2.3 percent.
Contractor Al Khodari <1330.SE> rose 4.2 percent in heavy trade after its board proposed to use its statutory reserve of 71 million riyals ($18.93 million) to reduce a part of its losses. The proposal seeks to cut accumulated losses to 202 million riyals from 273 million riyals.
The Dubai index <.DFMGI> fell 0.5 percent, weighed down by its real estate stocks. Emaar Properties <EMAR.DU> lost 1 percent and Damac Properties <DAMAC.DU> decreased 0.7 percent.
Dubai’s property stocks contributed to the index’s poor performance last year. In 2018, the index fell over 25 percent to become the world’s worst-performing major stocks market in local currency terms.
Abu Dhabi’s index <.ADI> edged down 0.2 percent, led by a 0.3 percent decline in First Abu Dhabi Bank <FAB.AD>, the largest bank in the United Arab Emirates.
Growth in the UAE’s non-oil private sector fell in December to its slowest rate since October 2016, a survey showed on Thursday.
The seasonally adjusted Emirates NBD UAE Purchasing Managers’ Index, which covers manufacturing and services, dropped to 54.0 in December from 55.8 in November.
Qatar’s index <.QSI> also lost 0.2 percent, pulled down by its financial stocks. Qatar National Bank <QNBK.QA> declined 1 percent. The company is raising a 2 billion-euro ($2.31 billion)syndicated loan, according to LPC, a fixed-income news service that is part of Refinitiv.
Qatar Islamic Bank <QISB.QA> fell 0.3 percent and Commercial Bank <COMB.QA> shed 0.7 percent.