October 30, 2018 / 8:42 AM / 20 days ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Banks hurt Abu Dhabi, Emirates NBD results lift Dubai

Oct 30 (Reuters) - Abu Dhabi’s stock market opened lower on Tuesday, pressured by a fall in its bank stocks, while Emirates NBD boosted Dubai’s index and Saudi Arabia was largely unchanged in early trade.

The Abu Dhabi index lost 0.5 percent, hurt by a 1.3 percent slide in First Abu Dhabi Bank and a 8.6 percent plunge in Gulf Pharmaceutical Industries.

In contrast, Dubai’s index climbed 0.6 percent, boosted by a 2.2 percent rise in Emirates NBD after it posted a double-digit jump in quarterly profit, led partly by higher net interest income.

Saudi Arabia’s bourse inched up 0.2 percent, with Herfy Food Services rising 6.9 percent after reporting an increase in its third-quarter profit.

But petrochemical firm National Industrialization Company (Tasnee) fell 2 percent after it flagged operational delay for a titanium ilmenite smelter plant.

In another sign of reassurance, the top boss of Europe’s biggest bank, HSBC, said on Monday that Saudi Arabia is unlikely to see significant impact on its foreign trade and investment flows following the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Last week, Norway’s sovereign wealth fund announced plans to more than double its investments in the kingdom after it is included in the fund’s reference index.

Stock exchange data indicated on Sunday that foreign selling had slowed from the previous week, when it hit a record as the killing of Khashoggi spooked investors.

Qatar’s main index rose 0.2 percent as Qatar Islamic Bank jumped nearly 3 percent to touch its highest level since 2008. Commercial Bank added 1.4 percent. (Reporting by Muvija M in Bengaluru, editing by Larry King)

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