MIDEAST STOCKS Saudi leads major Gulf markets higher; Dubai falls


audi Arabia’s stock market rose in early trade on Wednesday to its highest in nearly 14 years amid rising oil prices, while the Dubai index was on course to register its fourth day of losses.

Brent crude prices also climbed for a fourth day on supply anxiety, particularly after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies, known as OPEC+, decided on Monday to stay with their planned output increase rather than boosting it further.

Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index added 0.7%, with Al Rajhi Bank rising 1.4%, while oil giant Saudi Aramco advanced 1.8% to 37.75 riyals per share, nearing a $2 trillion evaluation.

Aramco will complete its 1 million barrel per day (bpd) oil output expansion project by 2027 to bring its total production to 13 million bpd, its CEO said on Monday.

Aramco also aims to expand its oil trading business to 8 million bpd over the next five years from its current 5.5 million bpd, he added.

Dubai’s main share index dropped 0.7%, with Emirates NBD Bank losing 3% and sharia-compliant lender Dubai Islamic Bank falling 0.8%.

The United Arab Emirates’ non-oil private sector continued to expand in September as recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic in the Middle East trade and tourism hub remained strong, although job creation slowed, a business survey showed on Tuesday.

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