Gulf stocks move sideway early on, Aramco weighs on Saudi

Major Gulf stock markets moved sideways early on Tuesday, with financials and energy stocks weighing on Saudi Arabia and real estate shares underpinning Dubai’s index.

Saudi’s benchmark index .TASI dropped 0.4% with state-owned Saudi Aramco 2222.SE shedding 0.6% and Al Rajhi Bank 1120.SE losing 0.3%.

On Sunday, Al Rajhi Capital Research rated Aramco “neutral”, in line with most other brokerages, and set a target price of 37.5 riyals per share.

The International Monetary Fund trimmed its forecast for Saudi Arabia’s economic growth to 1.9% this year due to oil output cuts agreed with oil exporters, having previously forecast the kingdom’s gross domestic product would grow 2.2%.

Amongst others, National Shipping Company Of Saudi Arabia 4030.SE fell 0.9%, despite the firm receiving letter from interior ministry on Monday, extending its contract.

In Dubai, the index .DFMGI edged up 0.1% as Emaar Properties EMAR.DU gained 0.5%, while its unit Emaar Malls EMAA.DU added 1.1%.

The Qatari index .QSI was up 0.1% driven by a 2.4% leap in lender Masraf Al Rayan MARK.QA after the bank reported a higher annual profit.

However, the gains were capped by losses elsewhere including Qatar Gas Transport QGTS.QA, which opened 1.2% down.

Abu Dhabi’s index .ADI eased 0.1%. Emirates Telecommunications ETISALAT.AD retreated 0.5% and Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank ADIB.AD was down 0.3%.