Most major Gulf markets slide; Abu Dhabi gains

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Most major stock markets in the Gulf fell in early trade on Wednesday, hurt by losses in financial shares, while the Abu Dhabi index bucked the regional trend.

Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index slipped 0.2%, with Al Rajhi Bank and petrochemical maker Saudi Basic Industries falling 0.3% and 0.4%, respectively.

Dubai’s main share index dropped 0.6%, weighed down by a 1.4% slide in Emirates NBD Bank and a 1.1% decline in Emaar Properties.

On Tuesday, the International Monetary Fund revised down its 2020 real gross domestic product (GDP) projections for most Gulf countries, as it warned the economic outlook was worsening for many emerging markets amid the coronavirus crisis.

Countries in the oil-rich Gulf are suffering from the double shock of the coronavirus crisis, which is dampening demand in the non-oil economy, and low oil prices, which have been hurting revenue this year.

In Abu Dhabi, the index edged up 0.1%, helped by a 2.4% rise in aquaculture firm International Holding.

The Qatari index eased 0.3%, pressured by a 3.1% decline in Qatar Insurance Company.

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