Major Gulf markets gain as geopolitical concerns ease

April 23 Major stock markets in the Gulf rose in early trade on Tuesday, on course to recover some losses as fears of wider geopolitical strife eased.

Iran said on Friday that it had no plan to retaliate following an apparent Israeli drone attack within its borders, which in turn followed an Iranian missile and drone attack on Israel days before.

Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index (.TASI), opens new tab gained 0.6%, with Saudi Aramco (2222.SE), opens new tab advancing 0.5%, after the oil giant said it is in talks to acquire a 10% stake in China’s Hengli Petrochemical (600346.SS), opens new tab.

The deal would further bolster Aramco’s growing downstream presence in China.

Dubai’s main share index (.DFMMGI), opens new tab rose 0.5%, led by a 1% gain in blue-chip developer Emaar Properties (EMAR.DU), opens new tab.

Meanwhile, banks and finance companies in the United Arab Emirates may defer personal and car loan instalments for six months to help deal with the repercussions of last week’s storm, the UAE central bank said on Monday.

An investor walks through the Dubai Financial Market in Dubai

The UAE last week suffered the heaviest rains in 75 years, causing widespread flooding which trapped residents in traffic, offices and homes and left many people counting the costs of damage to vehicles and property.

In Abu Dhabi, the index (.FTFADGI), opens new tab was up 0.2%.

Oil prices – a catalyst for the Gulf’s financial market – edged higher, after falling in the previous session, as investors continued to assess the risk from geopolitical concerns in the Middle East.

The Qatari benchmark (.QSI), opens new tab added 0.5%, on track to snap three sessions of losses, with the Gulf’s biggest lender Qatar National Bank (QNBK.QA), opens new tab rising 1.1%.

Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; Editing by Sohini Goswami

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