MIDEAST STOCKS Abu Dhabi leads most Gulf markets higher

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Most major Gulf stock markets rose in early trade on Sunday, with the Abu Dhabi index registering the biggest gains while Dubai bucked the trend to trade lower.

Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index edged up 0.2%, helped by a 1.5% rise for Saudi Basic Industries Corp.

The petrochemicals giant this month swung to a $2 billion quarterly profit and said it expects to perform strongly in the second half the year, backed by healthy demand and rising oil prices.

Elsewhere, Saudi Arabian supermarket group BinDawood Holding rose 0.9% despite an almost 50% decline in second-quarter net profit. The sharp year-on-year drop was largely attributable to lockdown-driven buying and hoarding in the same period last year.

In Abu Dhabi, the index gained 0.6%, with International Holding advancing 3.4% to extend gains for a fifth session after strong first-half numbers.

The company’s market capitalisation hit 201.7 billion dirhams in late June, making it Abu Dhabi’s most valuable listed company.

Dubai’s main share index eased 0.2%, with blue-chip developer Emaar Properties losing 0.7% and sharia-compliant lender Dubai Islamic Bank shedding 0.4%.

DAMAC Properties, meanwhile, rose 0.8% after narrowing second-quarter net losses.

The Qatari benchmark added 0.1%, with Islamic lender Masraf Al Rayan rising 0.3%. However, real estate company Ezdan Holding declined 1.3% after reporting flat first-half net profit.

Reuters

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