January 8, 2020 / 1:07 PM / 9 days ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Major Gulf indexes slide as Iran retaliates; Aramco's retreat extends

    * All Saudi Arabian banks slide but one
    * Aramco closes at 34.2 riyals 
    * All stocks on Egypt's index rise

    By Ateeq Shariff
    Jan 8 (Reuters) - Major stock markets in the Gulf ended
lower on Wednesday after Iran launched missiles at bases housing
U.S. forces in Iraq, while Saudi Aramco extended losses.
    Iran retaliated against the U.S. drone strike that killed an
Iranian commander late last week, an attack that stoked fears of
all-out conflict in the Middle East and set off a bout of risk
aversion.
    However, Iranian officials said Tehran did not want a war
and its strikes "concluded" its response to the U.S. air strike,
helping settle down surges in oil and gold prices.
    Saudi Arabia's benchmark index dipped 0.9% with all
its banking stocks ending in red except one. Al Rajhi Bank
 was down 0.9%, while Samba Financial Group
decreased 2.2%. 
    State-owned Saudi Aramco fell 0.4% to 34.2 riyals
($9.12), extending losses for a fourth day in a row. The stock
opened at 34 riyals, hitting its lowest since it began trading
on Dec. 11.
    The oil giant's shares are down almost 12% from a high of
38.70 riyals on Dec. 12, but still above the IPO price of 32
riyals, which valued the company at $1.7 trillion.
    Dubai's main share index declined 1.2% with its
largest lender Emirates NBD shedding 2.3% and Emaar
Properties losing 1.2%.
    In Abu Dhabi, the index retreated 0.7% driven down by
a 1.1% fall in the country's largest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank
, and a 0.6% ease in telecoms firm Etisalat
.
    The Qatari index fell 0.4% as Qatar International
Islamic Bank and Qatar Fuel shed 2.8% and
1.1%, respectively.
    Outside the Gulf, Egypt's blue-chip index advanced
2.5% in its first session of gains this year, as all its 30
stocks rose. The index is still down 3% so far this year. 
    Commercial International Bank leapt 3.2% and Egypt
Kuwait Holding ended 5.7% higher.
    
 SAUDI ARABIA          down 0.9% to 8,124 points
 ABU DHABI            lost 0.7% to 5,019 points
 DUBAI                  dropped 1.2% to 2,713 points
 QATAR                eased 0.4% to 10,337 points
 EGYPT                  up 2.5% to 13,542 points
 BAHRAIN              fell 0.4% to 1,585 points
 OMAN                 slipped 0.1% to 3,944 points
 KUWAIT               edged down 0.1% to 6,799 points
 ($1 = 3.7510 riyals)

 (Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru;
Editing by Andrew Cawthorne)
  
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