FEBRUARY 2 (Reuters) – Most Gulf stock exchanges fell in early trading on Thursday after many corporate earnings fell short of expectations, with Saudi Arabia’s main stock index leading Alimma Bank (1150.SE). ) was reduced by
Saudi Arabia’s benchmark stock index (.TASI) fell 0.2% under pressure from falls in banking and property stocks.
Alimma Bank shares fell 2.2% after the bank reported a 32.8% increase in annual net profit to 3.6 billion riyals ($959.3 million).
The central banks of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain raised their key interest rates by 25 basis points on Wednesday, following a similar rate hike by the Federal Reserve as their currencies are pegged to the dollar.
But Qatar’s central bank said Wednesday it would keep rates unchanged.
The Qatari Riyal is also pegged to the dollar, so the CBQ usually follows the Fed’s movements.
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Qatar’s main stock index (.QSI) fell 0.5%, its fourth straight decline.
Banking sector stocks led the decline in the index, with Masraf Al Rayyan (MARK.QA) down 2.6% and Islamic bank Qatar Islamic Bank (QISB.QA) down 1%.
Abu Dhabi’s benchmark index (.FTFADGI) dropped 0.3%, on track to break a three-day winning streak, while the UAE’s biggest lender First Bank of Abu Dhabi (FAB.AD) dropped 0.6%, with conglomerate International Holding Company (IHC.AD) ) down 0.9%.
However, National Marine Dredging Company (NMDC.AD) rose 1.7% after posting a 30% increase in annual net profit to AED 1.3 billion ($353.9 million).
Dubai’s benchmark index (.DFMGI) rose 0.5 per cent, with budget airline Air Arabia (AIRA.DU) up 3.1 per cent and blue chip developer Emaar Properties (EMAR.DU) up 0.7 per cent.
Oil prices, a key contributor to the Gulf economy, rose on Thursday after the OPEC+ panel backed keeping production cuts agreed last year.
Brent crude rose $0.39, or 0.47%, to $83.23 a barrel by 0818 GMT.
($1 = 3.7526 riyals)
($1 = 3.6729 United Arab Emirates Dirham)
Reported by Mohd Edrees, Bangalore. Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise
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