Global Stock Market

MIDEAST STOCKS-Most major Gulf markets gain; Qatar eases

April 5 (Reuters)Most major stock markets rose in early trade on Monday, with Abu Dhabi index leading the gains, although Qatar traded lower.

Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index .TASI rose 0.2%, with Al Rajhi Bank 1120.SE gaining 0.2%, while Saudi Arabian Mining Company 1211.SE advanced 1.2%.

Saudi Arabia increased the price of its Arab light crude for the Asian market by $0.4/barrel in May, compared to April, and lowered those for the U.S. and European markets by $0.1/barrel and $0.2/barrel respectively, according to a statement from oil producer Saudi Aramco.

Aramco 2222.SE was down 0.4%.

Dubai’s main share index .DFMGI gained 0.5%, led by a 1.3% rise in sharia-compliant lender Dubai Islamic Bank DISB.DU and 2.3% increase in logistic firm Aramex ARMX.DU.

The United Arab Emirates will invest $3 billion in Iraq, it said in a joint statement at the end of Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi’s visit to UAE, state news agency WAM reported.

In Ab Dhabi, the index .ADI rose 0.7%, boosted by a 6.9% jump in International Holding IHC.AD.

The firm has gone through rapid expansion across its major business sectors, resulting in a sharp growth in its financials, positioning it for long-term growth.

International Holding is on track to gain for a 10th consecutive session.

The Qatari index .QSI, however, fell 0.3%, hit by a 1% fall in Qatar Islamic Bank QISB.QA and 0.4% decrease in Qatar National Bank QNBK.QA, the Gulf’s largest lender.

Last month, Qatar tightened COVID-19 restrictions ordering the closure of leisure centres, gyms and swimming pools and for shopping malls to operate at a reduced capacity of 30%, while cinemas would run at 20% capacity.

(Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; Editing by Alison Williams)

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