Middle East

Saudi shares fall on weak oil, set for weekly loss

Nov 18 (Reuters) – Saudi shares eased in early trade on Thursday and were set for a weekly loss, tracking weaker oil prices, while other Gulf bourses traded mixed.

Oil prices slid to near six-week lows as China said it was moving to release reserves following a Reuters report that the United States was asking big crude consumers to consider a coordinated release of stocks to lower prices.

Oil prices are down around 4% since Wednesday as the shock treatment seemed to take effect.

Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index (.TASI) dropped 0.2%, hit by a 1.1% fall in Dr Sulaiman Al-Habib Medical Services (4013.SE) and a 0.8% decrease in petrochemical maker Saudi Basic Industries Corp (2010.SE).

The Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen intercepted and destroyed a drone that attempted to attack Saudi Arabia’s Abha international airport, Saudi state media said early on Thursday. read more

In Abu Dhabi, the index (.ADI) fell 0.3%, with Emirates Telecommunications (ETISALAT.AD) dropping 0.6% and the Country’s largest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB.AD) falling 0.2%.

Dubai’s main share index (.DFMGI) edged up 0.1%, with blue-chip developer Emaar Properties (EMAR.DU) rising 0.6% and Deyaar Development (DEYR.DU) advancing 4.4%.

Dubai Financial Market (DFM.DU) announced an incentives program to encourage initial public offerings and listings from private sector companies.

Separately, the United Arab Emirates, one of the world’s biggest bullion trade hubs, will launch new standards aimed at increasing transparency and combating illicit trading in the bullion market, it said on Thursday.

The Qatari index (.QSI) added 0.2%, helped by a 0.7% rise in Commercial Bank (COMB.QA) and a 0.5% increase in sharia-compliant lender Masraf Al Rayan (MARK.QA).

Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru;Editing by Elaine Hardcastle

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