Gulf stock markets fall due to low oil prices; Dubai rises

December 8 (Reuters) – Most Gulf stock markets ended lower on Wednesday, weighed down by falling oil prices as investors assessed the impact of the Omicron coronavirus variant on the global economy and demand for fuel.

Brent crude futures were up 32 cents, or 0.4%, to $ 75.76 a barrel at 12:20 GMT, after previously falling more than $ 1.

Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index (.TASI) fell 1.1%, with Al Rajhi Bank (1120.SE) losing 2.3% and Banque Saudi Fransi (1050.SE) falling 4.5% .

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In contrast, shares of Saudi Tadawul Group (1111.SE), the kingdom’s stock operator, gained more than 12% when it debuted on the stock exchange.

Tadawul had set its initial public offering price at 105 riyals each at the high end of the stated range, raising 3.78 billion riyals ($ 1.01 billion) as part of the deal.

Dubai’s main stock index (.DFMGI) rose 0.1%, gaining for a sixth consecutive session, helped by a 2.2% rise in main lender Emirates NBD Bank (ENBD.DU).

The UAE will move to a four-and-a-half-day work week with a Saturday-Sunday weekend starting early next year to better align its economy with global markets, but private companies will be free to choose their own work week. Read more

The Dubai Stock Exchange ended higher as the switch to the new weekend schedule could help attract new foreign capital into the country and into the stock market, said Wael Makarem, senior market strategist at Exness.

“The initiative is expected to create more overlap with global markets and could facilitate business and investment.”

In Abu Dhabi, the index (.ADI) dropped its initial gains to close 0.3% lower.

Outside the Gulf, Egypt’s blue-chip index (.EGX30) was down 0.8%, with Fawry for banking technology and electronic payments (FWRY.CA) losing 6.4%.

($ 1 = 3.7513 riyals)

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Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bangalore; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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Felix J. Dixon