December 3, 2018 / 1:32 PM / 7 months ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Oil rally boosts Qatar, Saudi; Egypt hits one-year low

* Qatar index registers biggest intra-day gain in over a month

* Rising oil prices aid Saudi, Qatar

* Egypt’s Commercial International Bank hits near 2-year low

* Egypt’s blue-chip index hits lowest since Aug. 2017

By Shakeel Ahmad and Abinaya Vijayaraghavan

Dec 3 (Reuters) - Qatar’s stock market rose sharply on Monday and Saudi stocks gained, helped by a surge in oil prices, which boosted their banks and petrochemical stocks, while Egypt slumped to its lowest in a year.

Oil prices jumped by more than 5 percent after the United States and China agreed on a truce in their trade dispute.

“GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) countries to remain comfortable from a fiscal point of view with Brent oil prices at USD 60-70/bbl,” Arqaam Capital said in a note, adding that it expects a downside risk in GCC equities if prices drop below the range after the OPEC meeting.

The Qatar index rose 1.3 percent with 18 of its 20 stocks increasing. Qatar National Bank climbed 1.8 percent, while Industries Qatar added 1.9 percent after HSBC raised the price target on the stock to 125 riyals from 110 riyals.

But Barwa Real Estate lost 0.5 percent after a court judgment asked the company to pay 153.1 million riyals ($40.81 million) and expenses. The firm added that the amount will impact its fourth-quarter earnings by 133 million riyals ($35.45 million).

The world’s largest liquefied natural gas exporter said it would withdraw from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) as of January 2019.

The withdrawal decision reflects Qatar’s intent to focus its efforts on developing its natural gas industry, the country’s energy minister said, adding that the decision was not linked to a political and economic boycott of Qatar imposed by OPEC’s de facto leader Saudi Arabia and its allies since June 2017.

Saudi Arabia’s index rose 0.9 percent with giant petrochemical producer Saudi Basic Industries adding 1.2 percent and Samba Financial Group increasing 2.3 percent.

Saudi Arabian Mining jumped 6 percent after saying it had commenced commercial production of Diammonium Phosphate.

Saudi Exchange data on Sunday showed foreigners bought a net 203.4 million riyals ($54.21 million) of stocks in the week ending Nov. 29, their first week of net buying after seven weeks of selling triggered by investor concerns in the wake of killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and after a fall in oil prices triggered two months of heavy selling.

The Egyptian blue-chip index dropped 1.6 percent, with the country’s biggest lender Commercial International Bank losing 4.4 percent, its lowest in nearly two years.

Global Telecom Holding dived 5.7 percent after the Egyptian exchange said that Moon Capital Master Fund sold 34.4 million shares in the firm for 127.5 million Egyptian pounds ($7.12 mln)

Palm Hills Developments Company declined 4.9 percent; it said that it had raised 991 million Egyptian pounds ($55.49 million) in the second subscription round of its rights issue.

The United Arab Emirates was closed for a national holiday. SAUDI ARABIA * The index added 0.9 percent to 7,917 points. QATAR * The index rose 1.3 percent to 10,451 points. KUWAIT * The index was up 0.2 percent at 5,327 points. EGYPT * The index dropped 1.6 percent to 12,934 points. BAHRAIN * The index fell 0.5 percent to 1,326 points. OMAN * The index rose 0.7 percent to 4,450 points.

$1 = 17.8600 Egyptian pounds Reporting by Shakeel Ahmad and Abinaya Vijayaraghavan in Bengaluru Editing by Gareth Jones

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