DUBAI: Most major stock markets in the Middle East ended higher on Sunday, with Saudi Arabia leading gains on a rise in financial shares, while Egypt bucked the trend to close lower.
By Thursday major Gulf markets had logged weekly gains following positive developments in a COVID-19 vaccine, which boosted hopes of a faster-than-expected global economic recovery.
Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index increased 0.8 percent on Sunday, with Al-Rajhi Bank rising 1.4 percent, while utility firm Saudi Electricity jumped 5.1 percent.
Official data showed on Sunday that Saudi Arabia’s consumer price index increased by 5.8 percent in October compared with the same month last year, slightly above September’s 5.7 percent.
Dubai’s main share index added 0.3 percent, helped by a 1.5 percent rise in Emirates NBD Bank and a 1.8 percent gain in budget airliner Air Arabia.
The Abu Dhabi index gained 0.3 percent, with the UAE’s largest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank rising 0.5 percent.
Among gainers, Dana Gas was up 0.3 percent. On Thursday, the energy firm said it expects to complete the sale of its onshore Egyptian oil and gas assets to IPR Wastani Petroleum Ltd., a member of the IPR Energy Group, in early 2021.
The UAE has reopened its land border crossings as it works to shield the economy from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, Reuters reported on Friday, citing state news agency WAM.
The statement said Omani citizens would not need authorization to enter the country from Nov. 16, but would need a negative PCR coronavirus test.
Qatar’s index eased 0.1 percent, weighed down by a 1 percent drop in the Gulf’s largest lender Qatar National Bank.
Outside the Gulf, Egypt’s blue-chip index fell 0.6 percent, hit by a 1.3 percent fall in the country’s largest lender Commercial International Bank.