Traders work at computer terminals inside the offices of the Tadawul. Saudi stocks dropped taking a pause after a nine-day rally triggered by rising oil prices. Image Credit: Bloomberg

Dubai: Saudi stocks dropped taking a pause after a nine-day rally triggered by rising oil prices, while Qatar market saw its sharpest single-day fall this year as its blue-chip banking stocks underwent overwhelming sell-off.

Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index slipped 0.2 per cent to 9,084 points taking a breather after rising for nine days running. The recent rally comes in line with recently surging oil prices now nearing $65 a barrel, pulling the index out of the red zone. Saudi stocks closed the last week up 3.8 per cent in what was their best weekly performance since mid-November last year. The bullish run swung the gauge back into gains year-to-date.

The kingdom’s blue-chip stocks dropped with Saudi Telecom and Banque Saudi Francsi sagging more than 2 per cent, while Sabic and Saudi Aramco retreated less than 1 per cent after a long run of gains.

Steep fall

Qatar Exchange traded down 1.1 per cent to 10,342 points marking its steepest single-day drop so far this year and pushing the index back into negative territory. Banking stocks were the biggest drag with its largest lender Qatar National Bank and Qatar Commercial Bank both shedding more than 2 per cent.

Ooredoo Qatar dropped 2.1 per cent adding to losses from Monday when it slumped over 8 per cent after swinging to fourth-quarter losses amounting to QR342 million. That compares with QR460 million profits it posted for the corresponding period last year.

Dubai Financial Market reversed the early course to close lower by 0.6 per cent at 2,594 points, a level not seen this month. Dubai Islamic Bank further shed 1.5 per cent and was trading at a multi-week low after its latest results disappointed investors.

Bearish run

Aramex shed 3.5 per cent continuing its bearish run after its full-year profits plunged around 43 per cent. It has heavily dropped after announcing earnings on February 10 shedding 7 per cent in total.

Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange edged lower by 0.5 per cent to 5,636 points with telco Etisalat stepping back 0.8 per cent to Dh19.74. The firm is still up over 17 per cent for the year with the gains led by its plan to further open up to foreign investors who can now own 49 per cent of its shares. Its full-year profits also rose despite a challenging 2020.

Kuwait premier index edged up 0.1 per cent to trade at 6,257 points. Gulf Cable and Electric Industries soared 6.6 per cent adding to its gains after the firm was awarded KD4.5 million worth of a contract to supply overhead conductors.

Earnings bring gains

Bahrain shares were up 0.3 per cent with telco firm Zain Bahrain gaining 0.9 per cent after its full-year profits rose to BD5.4 million and the firm announced 6 fils per share dividends to its shareholders. GFH Financial Group inched up 0.6 per cent after earlier this week posting a $21.9 million in fourth-quarter profits, up from $1.5 million a year before.