August 6, 2019 / 1:28 PM / a month ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Major Gulf markets sag on escalating U.S.-China trade war

    * Qatar's Mesaieed drops after poor H1 earnings
    * Nine of eleven Saudi banks decline
    * SABB decreased after posting Q2 losses
    * Bank of Sharjah falls the most in over a decade
    * Egypt Kuwait Holding surges on nod from authorities

    By Ateeq Shariff and Maqsood alam
    Aug 6 (Reuters) - Major Middle Eastern stock markets fell on
Tuesday, led lower by financial stocks and mirroring losses in
global markets triggered by the U.S. calling China a currency
manipulator in a rapid escalation of the trade war between the
two countries.
    China's central bank said on Tuesday that Washington's
decision to label Beijing as a currency manipulator would
"severely damage international financial order and cause chaos
in financial markets".
    Qatar’s index, which posted its biggest fall in two
years on Monday when it plunged 4.2% and wiped out all this
year's gains, slid a further 1.5% to hit a six-session losing
streak as 16 of its 20 companies traded lower.
    Mesaieed Petrochemical Holding declined 5% and
Barwa Real Estate dipped 4.4% after the duo reported
disappointing first-half earnings.
    The Saudi Arabian index closed 0.8% lower,
continuing its losing streak for a fifth straight session with
most of its banking shares falling.
    National Commercial Bank lost 3%, while Saudi
British Bank (SABB) dipped 3.4% after it swung to a
second-quarter loss.
    The latter posted a net loss of 254 million riyals ($67.72
million) in the second quarter compared with a profit of 833
million riyals a year earlier.
    Buruj Cooperative Insurance Co plunged 6% after it
recorded a more than 81% fall in second quarter net profit
before zakat which it blamed on a decrease in its net
underwriting surplus.
    Dubai's index edged down 0.1% with Emirates NBD
 shedding 0.9%, while Emaar Development
decreased 3.1% after it reported a 24% drop in first-half net
profit.
    Dubai prime residential property prices fell 1.9% in the
first half of the year due to the market being oversupplied,
Reuters reported on Monday, citing real estate company Savills
.
    In Abu Dhabi, the index traded flat as losses in the
financial and telecommunication sectors eclipsed gains in real
estate stocks.
    Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank shed 1.6% while Bank of
Sharjah slumped 9.9% to post its biggest intra-day loss
since January 2009. The lender on Sunday posted a 24% drop in
first-half profit.
    Aldar Properties closed 4.1% higher ahead of a
board meeting on Wednesday at which it will discuss the
company's second-quarter financial performance. EFG Hermes
forecasts a 7% rise in profit.
    Egypt's blue-chip index rose 0.4% with Egypt Kuwait
Holding gaining 3.2%. The firm obtained a regulatory
nod to allocate land to agricultural projects to procure raw
materials for its planned compressed wood factory.
    Ezz Steel surged 6.3% after a subsidiary of the
firm on Monday approved the acquisition of Ezz Rolling Mills and
 Ezz Flat Steel.
    
 SAUDI ARABIA  The index         dropped 0.8% to 8,394 points
 DUBAI         The index          lost 0.1% to 2,797 points
 QATAR         The index        fell 1.5% to 9,777 points
 ABU DHABI     The index        was flat at 5,081 points
 EGYPT         The index          rose 0.4% to 13,656 points
 KUWAIT        The index        was down 0.3% at 6,707 points
 OMAN          The index        gained 0.4% to 3,803 points
 BAHRAIN       The index        was flat at 1,545 points
 
($1 = 3.7508 riyals)

 (Reporting by Ateeq Shariff and Maqsood Alam in Bengaluru;
Editing by Kirsten Donovan)
  
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