Major Gulf stocks little changed, Dubai nudges higher

Major stock markets in the Gulf were little changed in early trade on Sunday, with expectations of economic recovery nudging Dubai higher again after the index snapped an eight-session winning streak at the end of last week.

Dubai’s index was up 0.1 percent after closing lower on Thursday.

The United Arab Emirate’s only listed airline Air Arabia rose 1.5 percent, while shopping mall operator Emaar Mall was up 1 percent.

Analysts expect Dubai house prices to rise this year for the first time in six years, supported by a swift vaccine rollout that has lifted hopes for an overall economic recovery.

Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index inched up around 0.2 percent in its fourth consecutive day of gains.

Hospital operator Dr. Sulaiman al-Habib Medical Services Group rose 0.9 percent, Saudi Telecom added 0.7 percent and Sahara International Petrochemical was up 1.4 percent.

Saudi Arabia will allow entertainment venues to open at 40 percent capacity for those who are vaccinated against the novel coronavirus, as the kingdom relaxes restrictions imposed to check the spread of COVID-19.

The Abu Dhabi index was down 0.4 percent led by financials. First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB.AD) fell 1.3 percent and Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank retreated 0.7 percent.

Losses were partially offset by International Holdings and Emirates Telecommunications Group gaining 0.8 percent and 0.3 percent respectively.

Qatar’s index edged down 0.2 percent after three session of gains triggered by easing COVID-19 restrictions.

Banking shares weighed the most with Commercial Bank dropping 1.6 percent and Qatar International Islamic Bank down 1.7 percent.

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