MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi benchmark slips as financials weigh; other Gulf markets nearly flat

  • Reuters
  • Stock Market News
MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi benchmark slips as financials weigh; other Gulf markets nearly flat

March 15 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia's stock market fell in early trade on Monday, dragged down by losses in banking shares, while other major Gulf stock markets were little changed.

The kingdom's benchmark index .TASI eased 0.1%, weighed down by a 0.2% decline in Al Rajhi Bank 1120.SE and a 0.3% drop in National Commercial Bank 1180.SE .

The United States overtook Saudi Arabia as India's second biggest oil supplier last month, as refiners boosted cheaper U.S. crude purchases to record levels to offset OPEC+ supply cuts, data from trade sources showed. switch in supplies, triggered by lower U.S. crude demand, coincided with Saudi Arabia's voluntary extra 1 million bpd output cut on top of an agreement by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies (OPEC+) to maintain lower production.

In Dubai, the index .DFMGI gained 0.1%, on track to extend gains for a fourth session in a row, led by a 4.5% hike in Developer DAMAC Properties DAMAC.DU and a 0.6% increase in blue-chip developer Emaar Properties EMAR.DU .

The Dubai government on Saturday announced its plan to increase tourism and hotel capacity by 134% over the next 20 years, as part of a wider plan to make the emirate more competitive as Gulf countries brace for the post-oil era. Dubai-2040 plan forecasts 400% increase in beach capacity and 168 square km (65 square miles) of lands allocated to logistics and other businesses, a government statement said.

The Abu Dhabi index .ADI was also up 0.1%, helped by a 0.3% increase in market heavyweight First Abu Dhabi Bank FAB.AD .

Aldar Properties ALDAR.AD ,however, eased 0.5%.

Aldar, Abu Dhabi's largest real estate developer, offered to buy a majority stake in Egypt's Six of October for Development and Investment Company (SODIC) OCDI.CA . Qatari index .QSI fell 0.3%, hit by a 1.2% drop in petrochemical maker Industries Qatar IQCD.QA .

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