January 7, 2020 / 7:57 AM / 15 days ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi, UAE rise on banks; Qatar retreats

Jan 7 (Reuters) - Most major Gulf stock markets rose on Tuesday, led by banking shares, though Qatar was marginally lower, weighed down by its financial stocks.

On Sunday, the Gulf saw steep declines, with Kuwait falling the most on its first day of trading after a U.S. attack in Iraq that has ramped up tensions in the region.

Following the attack on Friday, in which Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani was killed, Tehran promised vengeance.

With no immediate retaliation, some of the tensions have simmered down. That helped to push oil and gold prices lower on Tuesday as investors booked profits.

Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index added 0.6%, with Al Rajhi Bank increasing 0.9% and Riyad Bank up 0.9%.

Elsewhere, Al Kathiri Holding gained 1.2% after it renewed a bank facility agreement with National Commercial Bank . The lender was up 0.6%.

On the other hand, oil giant Saudi Aramco fell 0.4% to trade at the lowest since its initial public offering.

Dubai’s main share index climbed 1%, led by a 1.6% rise in Emirates NBD Bank and a 1.3% gain in blue-chip developer Emaar Properties.

The Abu Dhabi index was up 0.7%, with the country’s largest lender, First Abu Dhabi Bank, gaining 0.8% and Emirates Telecommunications rising 0.5%.

In Qatar, the index bucked the trend to open 0.3% lower as Qatar Islamic Bank and Mesaieed Petrochemical declined 1% and 1.7%, respectively. (Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; Editing by Mark Potter)

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