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MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi slips on lower than expected oil supply cuts; UAE extends gains

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi slips on lower than expected oil supply cuts; UAE extends gains

April 12 (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia’s stock market fell in early trade on investor disappointment after OPEC and allied oil producing countries agreed a smaller-than-expected cut in output.

The OPEC+ group agreed to reduce output by 10 million barrels per day (bpd) from May, with Russia saying it would only reduce if the United States joined the deal.

Meanwhile, King Salman approved an extension of the kingdom’s curfew until further notice due to the rate at which the coronavirus is spreading, state news agency SPA reported early on Sunday.

Saudi’s benchmark index dropped 1%, with Saudi Aramco losing 1.6% and Al Rajhi Bank down 1.4%.

Aramco is set to announce its crude prices for May, having delayed the official release until after the global oil supply cut deal is finalised.

Shares in the United Arab Emirates, where a closure of mosques and places of worship was extended until further notice, built on recent gains.

In Dubai, the index gained 3.3%, boosted by a 6% jump in its largest lender Emirates NBD and a 4.2% rise in developer Emaar Properties.

Dubai’s department of finance has told all government agencies to slash capital spending and halt new hiring until further notice, in response to the coronavirus, according to an official document seen by Reuters.

The Abu Dhabi Index advanced 3.1%. First Abu Dhabi Bank leapt 6.3% while Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank climbed 4.6%.

Qatar’s index slipped 0.3%, hurt by a 5.8% fall in Mesaieed Petrochemical, while Qatar Insurance traded 6.7% higher.

Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; editing by John
Stonestreet

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