June 25, 2019 / 1:37 PM / a year ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi stocks end losing streak, Iran sanctions weigh on most of Gulf

    * Saudi snaps four-day losing streak
    * Eight of 11 Saudi banks rise
    * Egypt falls for a sixth day
    * Financials drag Abu Dhabi, Dubai

    By Shakeel Ahmad
    June 25 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia's stock market snapped a
four-day losing streak in late wave of buying on Tuesday, while
other major Middle East bourses dropped after the United States
imposed sanctions on Iran's leadership.
    Saudi Arabia's share index was up 0.6% with gains
coming in last 30 minutes of trading. Banks led the late rally
with Riyad Bank adding 2.8% and Saudi British Bank
 climbing 2.7%. 
    The head of state-run energy giant Saudi Aramco said it
could use its spare capacity to meet customer demand, in
comments designed to ease concerns over oil supply security
caused by recent attacks on oil tankers near the Strait of
Hormuz, a key shipping route.
    Real estate shares also supported the index rise with Dar Al
Arkan Real Estate Development gaining 2.8%.
    Saudi Arabia earlier this week launched its new special
residency scheme aimed at attracting wealthy and high-skilled
foreign workers. The measure will allow expatriate workers
freedom of  movement, the right to own property and allow them
to do business in the kingdom.
    However other major Gulf markets fell after U.S. President
Donald Trump targeted Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali
Khamenei and other top Iranian officials with sanctions on
Monday, increasing pressure on Iran after Tehran downed an
unmanned American drone.
    Iran said the U.S. move had closed off diplomacy and blamed
the United States for abandoning the only route to peace just
days after the two foes came within minutes of conflict.

    The Abu Dhabi index closed 0.5% lower, weighed down
by a 0.4% drop in Emirates Telecommunications Group
and a 0.7% decline in the country's major lender First Abu Dhabi
    In Dubai, the index was also down 0.6%, with blue
chip developer Emaar Properties dropping 1.3% and its
top lender Emirates NBD Bank slipping 0.9%.
    Qatar's index gave up early gains to trade 0.5% down
at close. Petrochemical maker Industries Qatar
decreased 1.3% and Qatar Islamic Bank dropped 1.1%.
    Egypt's blue-chip index was down 0.3%, to register
its sixth consecutive session of losses. 
    The market has been on the back foot after Egypt's first
democratically elected president Mohamed Mursi died while on
trial in a Cairo court. His death has triggered calls for an
inquiry by Amnesty International and the U.N. Human Rights
 SAUDI       The index         rose 0.6% to 8,650 points
 ABU DHABI   The index        was down 0.5% to 4,989 points
 DUBAI       The index          was down 0.6% at 2,623 points
 QATAR       The index        lost 0.5% to 10,451 points
 EGYPT       The index .EGX30 lost 0.3% to 13,831 points
 BAHRAIN     The index        was up 0.5% to 1,462 points
 OMAN        The index        lost 0.5% to 3,891 points
 KUWAIT      The index        rose 0.2% to 6,381 points
 (Reporting by Shakeel Ahmad in Bengaluru; Editing by Jon Boyle)
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