January 27, 2020 / 1:27 PM / 2 months ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi leads Gulf lower as China virus fears mount

    * All Saudi Arabian banks decline
    * Emirates NBD drops on poor Q4 earnings
    * ADCB posts lower Q4 financials
    * 28 of thirty Egyptian stocks drop

    By Ateeq Shariff
    Jan 27 (Reuters) - Middle East stocks slipped, with Saudi
Arabia hardest hit on Monday, mirroring drops in oil prices and
global shares on concerns about the impact of the coronavirus
outbreak in China.
    Saudi Arabia's energy minister said it is closely monitoring
developments in global oil markets resulting from "gloomy
expectations" regarding the possible impact on the Chinese and
global economy, as well as on the oil market.
    The death toll in China has risen to 81 and the virus spread
to more than 10 countries, including France, Japan and the
United States.
    The total number of confirmed cases in China rose about 30%
from the previous day, to 2,744. But some experts suspect the
number of infected people is much higher.
    Saudi Arabia's benchmark index tumbled 1.8%,
extending losses for a fifth-day. National Commercial Bank
 slid 3.1%, while Al Rajhi Bank fell 1.2%.
    Brent crude fell by $1.95 a barrel, or 3.2%, to
$58.75 by 1128 GMT, its lowest since late October and the
biggest intra-day fall since Jan. 8.
    In Dubai, the index tumbled 1.2%, with Dubai
Islamic Bank shedding 1.7%, while Emirates NBD Bank
 was down 1.1% following a 15% plunge in fourth-quarter
net profit on higher impairment charges.
    The Abu Dhabi index retreated 1.2%, led by a 1.4%
drop in First Abu Dhabi Bank, ahead of its board
meeting to approve financials. 
    Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank fell 2.8% after it
reported fourth-quarter net profit of 1.05 billion dirhams ($286
million), down from 1.24 billion a year earlier.
    Qatar's index declined 0.9% as Qatar National Bank
 and Commercial Bank dropped 1% and 2%,
respectively.
    Outside the Gulf, Egypt's blue-chip index dipped
0.6%, with 28 of thirty stocks ending in the red, including
Commercial International Bank, which lost 0.6%.
    
 SAUDI ARABIA          slid 1.8% to 8,178 points
 ABU DHABI            dropped 1.2% to 5,167 points
 DUBAI                  fell 1.2% to 2,789 points
 QATAR                declined 0.9% to 10,489 points
 EGYPT                  eased 0.6% to 13,640 points
 BAHRAIN              slipped 0.1% to 1,647 points
 OMAN                 lost 0.3% to 4,071 points
 KUWAIT               was down 1% at 7,000 points
 

($1 = 3.6728 UAE dirham)

 (Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; Editing by Alexander
Smith)
  
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