- Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index gained 0.6pc, with lenders Riyad Bank and National Commercial Bank adding 1.6pc and 0.9pc, respectively.
Major Gulf markets eked out gains on Monday, riding on the positive sentiment around the progress in COVID-19 vaccine development and the OPEC+ deal on oil production cuts, with Saudi stocks breaking a losing streak of four sessions.
Despite oil prices falling on surging coronavirus cases globally and amid heightened tensions between the United States and China, markets in the Gulf managed to close in positive territory, with some erasing losses in the morning trade.
Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index gained 0.6pc, with lenders Riyad Bank and National Commercial Bank adding 1.6pc and 0.9pc, respectively.
Dubai’s main share index closed almost flat.
Dubai’s largest lender Emirates NBD was the top gainer, putting on nearly 2pc, while property stock Emaar Properties strengthened about 1pc.
Dubai Islamic Bank was the top loser on the benchmark, declining about a percent.
The Abu Dhabi index gained 0.2pc, with financial stocks leading the gains.
Index heavyweight First Abu Dhabi Bank and Finance House closed 1pc and about 15pc higher, respectively, to feature among the top gainers in the session.
Both Dubai and Abu Dhabi markets have gained in the two sessions after they reopened following a three-day holiday period last week.
The Qatari index, however, eased 0.2pc, hurt by a 2.2pc fall in Qatar International Islamic Bank and a 1.2pc decline in Commercial Bank.
In the previous session, Qatari stocks had closed higher buoyed by hopes of a resolution to a dispute with some of the country’s Arab neighbours.
Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt have imposed a diplomatic, trade and travel embargo on Qatar since mid-2017, accusing Doha of supporting terrorism.
Qatar denies the charges and says the embargo aims to undermine its sovereignty.
The Saudi foreign minister on Friday said that resolution with Qatar seemed “within reach”.
Outside the Gulf, Egypt’s blue-chip index lost 0.3pc, dragged mainly by a 6.7pc fall in Juhanya Food Industries.