Mideast Stocks: Most Gulf markets decline; Dubai gains

SectorFinancial Markets

Most major Gulf shares struggled for momentum on Wednesday as euphoria in the markets over positive news on COVID-19 vaccine development fizzled out after a string of gaining sessions, while Dubai bucked the trend in morning trade.Two U.S. drugmakers - Pfizer Inc and Moderna Inc - within a gap of a week came out with encouraging news on the effectiveness of the vaccine against the pandemic, boosting hopes of a faster-than-expected global economic recovery. Oil prices, a crucial impact factor for the financial markets in the region, were mixed as a bigger-than-expected build in U.S. crude stocks and weaker U.S. retail sales stoked fears over fuel demand, although hopes that OPEC and its allies will delay a planned rise in oil output lent support. Saudi Arabia's benchmark index retreated 0.2%, with lender and index heavyweight Al-Rajhi Bank and Samba Financial Group declining 0.4% and about 1.5%, respectively.Saudi Arabia called on fellow OPEC+ members on Tuesday to be flexible in responding to oil market needs as it builds the case for a tighter oil production policy in 2021 to tackle weaker demand amid a new wave of the coronavirus pandemic. Dubai's main share index added about 0.6%, with Dubai Islamic Bank and...read more...