Saudi Arabia’s market falls sharply; other Gulf mixed

Saudi Arabia’s stock market fell sharply on Tuesday amid escalating trade tensions between China and the United States, while Qatar and Abu Dhabi opened higher on back of their financials.

A year-long U.S.-China trade war boiled over on Monday as Washington accused Beijing of manipulating its currency after China let the yuan drop to its lowest point in more than a decade.

The Saudi Arabian index was down 1.3 percent, continuing its losing streak for the fifth straight session as all its banking shares declined.

National Commercial Bank lost 3.2 percent, while Saudi British Bank plunged 4.4% after it swung to second-quarter loss.

The latter posted a net loss of 254 million riyals ($67.72 million) in the second quarter from a profit of 833 million riyals a year earlier.

Walaa Cooperative Insurance dived a further 5.3 percent. On Monday, the insurer posted a pre-zakat loss in the second quarter.

Dubai’s index traded 0.4 percent lower with Emirates NBD shedding 0.9 percent and Emaar Development was down 1.3 percent after reporting a 24 percent decrease in first-half net profit.

Dubai prime residential property prices fell 1.9 percent in the first half of the year due to the market being oversupplied, Reuters reported citing real estate company Savills.

In Qatar, the index rebounded 1 percent after its worst day in two years on Monday when it plunged 4.2 percent. Gulf’s largest lender Qatar National Bank rose 2.7 percent while Industries Qatar gained 2.5 percent.

But, disappointment over poor earnings hit some firms in Qatar. Mesaieed Petrochemical Holding dropped 4.6 percent as its first-half profit more than halved and Barwa Real Estate , which reported lower profit for the same period, fell 1.5 percent.

In Abu Dhabi, the index snapped five-session losing streak to rise 0.5 percent, in a boost by Market heavyweight lender First Abu Dhabi Bank which rose 1.1 percent, also after five days of consecutive losses.

Source: Reuters