Gulf markets under pressure from lower oil prices; Abu Dhabi reaches a record

Electronic boards displaying stock information are pictured at the stock exchange, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, November 5, 2020. REUTERS/Abdel Hadi Ramahi

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Feb 17 (Reuters) – Major Gulf stock exchanges were weighed down by falling oil prices on Thursday, although Abu Dhabi’s main index (.FTFADGI) hit a record high for a second consecutive session.

Oil prices fell on Thursday as talks to resuscitate a nuclear deal with Iran entered their final stages, but losses were capped by heightened tensions between top energy exporter Russia and Iran. West about Ukraine.

The United States is “in the middle of the very last stages” of indirect talks with Iran, aimed at salvaging a 2015 agreement limiting Tehran’s nuclear activities, State Department spokesman Ned Price said on Wednesday.

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In Abu Dhabi, the index (.FTFADGI) was flat, but still ended the session at a record high of 9,208.

Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index (.TASI) fell 0.1% after hitting a 16-year high at the close of the previous session.

“The Saudi stock market has come under some pressure after hitting a new high since 2006, as oil prices may experience a decline with the upcoming arrival of Iranian crude on the market. However, the stock market remains strong on the front. economic,” Wael Makarem, Senior Market Strategist – MENA told Exness.

Shares of Saudi digital security firm Elm, owned by the kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund, rose nearly 19%, a day after they debuted on the stock exchange.

Strong earnings for the year boosted shares of Saudi Ceramics Company (2040.SE), which closed up 1.2%.

Dubai’s main stock index (.DFMGI) rose slightly, boosted by gains in property stocks. Stocks in financial services and communications weighed on sentiment.

The Qatari index (.QSI) closed flat. Commercial Bank (COMB.QA) and Qatar National Bank (QNBK.QA) were the main drags.

Outside the Gulf, Egypt’s blue chip index (.EGX30) ended down 0.3% after ending the previous two sessions in the green.

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Reporting by Tanvi Mehta and Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel

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Steve R. Hansen