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 Major Gulf bourses mixed as Omicron fears weigh

Bahraini traders are seen at Bahrain Bourse in Manama, Bahrain, November 4, 2020. REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

Major Gulf bourses mixed as Omicron fears weigh

Jan 4 (Reuters) – Major stock markets in the Gulf were mixed in early trade on Tuesday, as worries weighed that the Omicron variant could slow global economic recovery.

Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index (.TASI) gained 0.4%, led by a 1.1% rise in Saudi National Bank (1180.SE), the kingdom’s largest lender and a 1.5% increase in Sahara International Petrochemical Company (2310.SE).

Oil prices, a catalyst for the Gulf’s financial markets, rose as investors interpreted expectations that oil producers will add supply at a meeting on Tuesday as an indication fuel demand remains robust despite the spread of Omicron.

Daily coronavirus cases in Saudi Arabia have climbed above 1,000 for the first time since August.

The kingdom’s non-oil private sector grew last month at the slowest pace since March, marking its 16th consecutive month of expansion, a survey showed on Tuesday. read more

In Abu Dhabi, the index (.ADI) fell 1%, with telecoms company Etisalat (ETISALAT.AD) sliding 3.6%, while Alpha Dhabi Holding (ALPHADHABI.AD) retreated 1.5% after the conglomerate said it had bought an additional 17% in developer Aldar Properties (ALDAR.AD) to take its stake to 29.8%. read more

The United Arab Emirates (UAE), a tourism and commercial hub marking its peak tourism season and hosting a world fair, on Monday recorded 2,515 new coronavirus cases.

Dubai’s main share index (.DFMGI) added 0.4%, helped by a 1.1% rise in top lender Emirates NBD Bank (ENBD.DU).

The Qatari index (.QSI) eased 0.1%, hit by a 1.6% fall in Commercial Bank (COMB.QA).Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; editing by Barbara Lewis

This article was originally published by Reuters.

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