Saudi shares shake off oil price decline

Shares in Saudi Arabia shrugged off last week’s oil price declines to close in positive territory, with other regional bourses posting mixed performances.

Brent crude futures fell to $45.58 per barrel on Friday, their lowest level in more than two months, as US crude inventories rose and disagreements emerged between Iran and Saudi Arabia, jeopardising a production deal at this month’s Opec meeting in Vienna.

The Tadawul closed up 0.7 per cent, thanks to gains by Al Rajhi Bank and Jabal Omar Development.

In the UAE, the Dubai Fin­ancial Market General Index closed 0.6 per cent lower at 3,277.96, owing to a sharp fall by Emaar Properties.

The developer’s shares, the heaviest weighted stock on the Dubai bourse, ended 1.6 per cent lower at Dh6.66, its lowest level in two weeks.

Tabreed shed 2.7 per cent to Dh1.74, their largest one-day fall in over four months, after reports that Abu Dhabi government investment vehicle Mubadala may be considering selling part or all of its shareholding in the company.

Mubadala owns 13.39 per cent of Tabreed directly and also holds a 19.88 per cent stake through an affiliated company.

Shares in Abu Dhabi fell by nearly 1 per cent in early trading before recovering to end up 0.2 per cent at 4,291.97, on the back of late gains by Etisalat.

The telco’s shares ended up 1.6 per cent at Dh18.80, its best performance in more than three months. UNB and RAK Properties also rose.

FGB and Aldar Properties weighed on the index, closing 0.4 per cent and 0.7 per cent lower respectively.

Egyptian shares led gains across the wider Middle East and closed up 6.1 per cent, following the central bank’s landmark decision last week to float the Egyptian pound.

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