May 19, 2020 / 12:41 PM / 10 days ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Markets lifted by global rally and oil prices

    * Aramco registers sixth consecutive daily gain
    * All Saudi banks in positive territory
    * Aldar edges higher ahead of quarterly earnings

    By Maqsood Alam
    May 19 (Reuters) - Major Middle East stock markets closed higher on Tuesday,
tracking a rise in global equities and a recovery in oil prices, with Saudi
Arabia leading gains on the back of oil giant Saudi Aramco.
    Global equity markets surged on Monday and Asian shares extended gains on
Tuesday after data on Moderna Inc's COVID-19 vaccine, the first to be
tested in the United States, showed it produced protective antibodies in a small
group of healthy volunteers.
    Oil prices rose for a fourth straight session on Tuesday, supported by signs
of output cuts and demand recovery as coronavirus restrictions are eased.
    "Global sentiment is leading the rise in local markets supported by
recovering oil prices," said Marie Salem, head of institutions at Daman
    Saudi Arabia's index closed 1.8% up, led by Saudi Aramco and banking
    Aramco jumped 3.1% for its sharpest intra-day rise in more than a month and
its sixth consecutive daily gain, trimming its year-to-date loss to 5.4%.
    Saudi Basic Industries rose 3.1% and Al Rajhi Bank added
    The Dubai index firmed by 0.6%, with Emirates NBD Bank up
1.6% and Aramex advancing 2.6%.
    In Abu Dhabi, the index was up 0.3% as the telecoms company Etisalat
 gained 1.2% and Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank jumped 4.4%.
    Aldar Properties edged up 0.6% ahead of a meeting of its board on
Wednesday to discuss first-quarter financial performance.
    Qatar's index rose 0.4%, led by a 1.9% increase for Industries Qatar
    Qatar has extended a programme that provides guarantees to local banks from
the Qatar development bank, with interest-free loans for a full year instead of
six months, the state news agency reported on Tuesday.
    In Egypt, the blue-chip index closed 0.8% up, with market
heavyweight Commercial International Bank Egypt gaining 1%.

 SAUDI ARABIA          increased 1.8% to 7,045 points
 ABU DHABI            gained 0.3% to 4,074 points
 DUBAI                  was up 0.6% to 1,931 points
 QATAR                added 0.4% to 8,802 points
 EGYPT                  rose 0.8% to 10,357 points
 BAHRAIN              edged up 0.2% to 1,257 points
 OMAN                 slipped 1% to 3,393 points
 KUWAIT               was up 1.8% to 5,287 points

 (Reporting by Maqsood Alam in Bengaluru
Editing by David Goodman
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