Mideast Stocks: Gulf markets lose steam, but set for weekly gains

SectorFinancial Markets

Most major Gulf markets retreated on Thursday, drifting off gains logged in the recent sessions over optimism about COVID-19 vaccine and hopes of a speedier global economic recovery.Over the last two weeks, financial markets globally were spurred by encouraging news as two U.S. drugmakers Pfizer and Moderna Inc released encouraging news on the effectiveness of vaccine against the infection.The euphoria fizzled out on Thursday, with oil futures also easing while surrendering some gains from the previous day as the surge in coronavirus cases and tighter economic restrictions around the globe stoked fears over slower fuel demand. Saudi Arabia's benchmark index was down about 0.2%, with Saudi Telecom and Saudi Aramco leading the losses, slipping 0.6% and 0.7%, respectively.The Saudi benchmark, however, is on track to post a third consecutive weekly gain, mainly benefiting from the positive vaccine news.Dubai's main share index fell 0.5%, dragged by financial stocks Dubai Islamic Bank and Emirates NBD Bank, which slid 0.7% and 0.5%, respectively. But, the benchmark is set for a weekly gain of more than 2%.The Abu Dhabi index is set to post its second straight session of losses, declining 0.6% in morning trade, but is also poised to register gains for...read more...