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Mideast equity markets mixed with oil prices in focus

Mideast equity markets mixed with oil prices in focus

Kuwait’s main equity index led losses in the region

Equity markets in the Middle East were mixed as investors focused on the prospect for oil prices amid signs of stumbling economic recovery from Europe to Asia and woes of a delayed rebound in demand.

Kuwait’s main equity index led losses in the region. Aramco shares also dropped, while the Saudi Tadawul All Share Index traded slightly higher. Gauges in Bahrain and Israel advanced.

Brent crude fell 1.2 per cent on Friday as Europe’s economy unexpectedly lost momentum amid a battle to control a spike in coronavirus cases. Aramco has suspended a deal to build a $10bn refining and petrochemicals complex in China, according to people familiar with the matter, as it slashes spending to cope with lower oil prices.

Markets in the United Arab Emirates and Oman were closed due to holidays.

MIDDLE EASTERN MARKETS:

* Tadawul All Share Index rises 0.2 per cent

* Aramco drops as much as 0.2 per cent, trimming increase of 1.9 per cent last week

* Abdullah Al Othaim rises as much as 2.2 per cent after saying it will pay SAR3 per share for 1H dividend, SAR1 higher than last year

* Kamco Invest downgrades Kuwait’s education company Humansoft to neutral from outperform on potential impact of a 20 per cent fee reduction for online classes imposed on private universities. Reduction could affect 2020-2021 revenue, analyst Thomas Mathew writes in a note. He adds that higher dividend payout and/or growth via enrollment or acquisitions could drive a re-rating for the stock

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