March 8, 2018 / 8:55 AM / 10 months ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi stocks lead gains among Gulf markets in mixed trading

DUBAI, March 8 (Reuters) - Gulf stock markets opened mixed on Thursday, with Saudi stocks leading the gains, as concerns about a global trade war retreated.

Saudi stocks traded up 0.1 percent, with banks and insurers the main upward drivers.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has directed the Saudi government to resolve a dispute with banks facing higher Islamic tax liabilities, Reuters reported on Wednesday, citing banking sources.

Riyad Bank and Alinma Bank, the two lenders facing the largest extra payments, were both up more than 3 percent in early trading.

Qatar’s stocks slipped 0.2 percent, with Doha Bank the worst performer in early trading, slumping 10 percent as the stock went ex-dividend.

An easing of anxiety about global trade protectionism helped boost Asian and European shares. It followed White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders telling a media briefing that the impending hefty U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminium imports could exclude Canada, Mexico and a clutch of other countries.

Abu Dhabi stocks gained 0.3 percent, with Dana Gas one of the bottom movers, slipping 1.3 percent. Dubai stocks were down 0.02 percent. (Reporting by Tom Arnold)

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