MIDEAST STOCKS Chemicals and banking stocks boost Saudi index amid rising oil prices

An investor watches a screen displaying stock information on the Abu Dhabi Stock Exchange on June 25, 2014./File Photo

Sept. 26 (Reuters) – Most of the major Gulf markets rose in early trading on Sunday, with Saudi stocks leading the gains, with physical and financial stocks providing a boost amid rising oil prices.

Oil prices rose for the third week in a row to reach an almost three-year high on Friday, as global production disruptions force energy companies to pull large amounts of crude from inventories. Read more

Brent futures (.LCOc1) stood at $ 78.09 per barrel on Friday.

Saudi Arabia‘s benchmark index (.TASI) traded up 0.7% after four consecutive days of decline.

Market heavyweight Al Rajhi Bank (1120.SE) grew 0.7% while chemical manufacturers Sahara International Petrochemical (2310.SE) and Saudi Basic Industries (2010.SE) grew by 3, respectively. 6% and 0.8%.

The Dubai Index (.DFMGI) rose 0.3%, with financials offering the most support, with the Dubai Islamic Bank (DISB.DU) gaining 0.6%.

Amanat Holdings (AMANT.DU) jumped 4.6% before stabilizing around 2.8%. The integrated health and education investment firm said its Saudi fund sold a minority stake in International Medical Center, resulting in a net gain of around 40 million dirhams.

The Abu Dhabi index (.ADI) edged down 0.1%. First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB.AD) sold 0.5% and Emirates Telecommunications Group (ETISALAT.AD) lost 0.2%.

The losses were offset by Alphadhabi Holding (ALPHADHABI.AD) and Dana Gas (DANA.AD), which gained 0.6% and 2.8% respectively.

The central bank of the United Arab Emirates (CBUAE) said on Thursday it was starting to phase out stimulus measures introduced last year to ease the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The central bank, however, said it would leave temporarily lowered reserve requirements for banks unchanged. Read more

The Qatari index (.QSI) is up 0.4%. Industrials and financials provided the index’s strongest boost with Industries Qatar (IQCD.QA) up 2.3% and Commercial Bank (COMB.QA) adding 0.5%.

Reporting by Maqsood Alam in Bangalore; Editing by Kirsten Donovan

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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