Most major Gulf stocks lifted by financial shares

Major Gulf stocks rose in early trade on Tuesday, buoyed by financial shares amid steady oil on optimism that U.S.-China trade tensions could ease and stimulus measures by major economies to counter a possible global economic slowdown.

The United States said it would extend a reprieve that permits China’s Huawei Technologies to buy components from U.S. companies, signalling a slight softening of the trade conflict between the world’s two largest economies.

China’s new lending reference rate was set slightly lower on Tuesday, while Germany said on Sunday Berlin could make available up to 50 billion euros ($55 billion) of extra spending, adding that Germany has the fiscal strength to counter any future economic crisis with full force.

Saudi Arabia’s index was up 0.5 percent as banking stocks extended gains from previous sessions. Banque Saudi Fransi rose 2.3 percent and National Commercial Bank gained 0.8 percent.

The index was also underpinned by some positive earnings. Arabian Centres, which went public in May, jumped 4.1 percent after reporting a 180.4 percent increase in its first-quarter profit to 227 million riyals ($60.53 million), citing lower impairment loss and finance cost.

Saudi Research and Marketing Group gained 2.5 percent, after posting a higher second-quarter profit.

Qatar’s index rose 0.3 percent in its straight third day of gains, with the Gulf’s biggest lender, Qatar National Bank , gaining 1.4 percent and Ooredoo rising 1.7 percent.

Qatar’s index, which is down 4.5 percent in the year-to-date, has steadied since the central bank on Thursday said Qatar’s economic growth would accelerate over the next two years amid expectations of stable oil prices and continued strong exports.

In Abu Dhabi, the index advanced 0.3 percent as Emirates Telecommunication Group traded 0.6 percent higher and First Abu Dhabi Bank gained 0.3 percent.

But Abu Dhabi’s only listed pharmaceutical firm Gulf Pharmaceutical Industries plunged 9.8 percent after recalling a single batch of its Laxocodyl suppository over a labelling error.

Dubai’s index slipped 0.1 percent with Mashreqbank , down 6.3 percent, the top loser. ($1 = 3.7504 riyals)

Source: Reuters