Banks continue to support the majority of Gulf stock markets
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TEH: Most of the Gulf stock markets closed higher, on Monday, supported especially by the gains in banking shares, despite the decline in oil prices, which has a severe impact on the economies of the region.

By 12:30 (GMT), Brent crude contracts for June delivery were trading at $98.62 a barrel, down $4.14, or 4.05 percent.

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And US West Texas Intermediate crude contracts for May delivery fell by $4.29, or 4.37 percent, to $93.97 a barrel.

The Saudi market index closed at 13483.2 points, up 0.66 percent, driven by gains in most banks’ shares led by the Saudi British Bank, which jumped 5.17%.

In the UAE, the Dubai Stock Exchange index closed at its highest level in two years at 3,587.7 points, recording an increase of 1.3 percent, especially supported by gains in real estate shares, led by the “Union” share, which rose by more than 4 percent.

The Abu Dhabi market index recorded its highest closing ever, at 10,166.6 points, up 0.7 percent. The gains were led by “energy” shares, up 14.4 percent, and “Aldar” real estate, up by 3.4 percent.

The Qatar Stock Exchange index increased by 0.12 percent to 14,494.3 points, supported especially by gains in banking shares, led by Qatar National Bank, up by 3.43 percent.

The first index in the Kuwait market decreased by 0.09 percent to 9133.2 points, and the losses were led by “STC” Communications and “Replay” Insurance, down by 8.86 percent and 8.39 percent, respectively.

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The Muscat Stock Exchange index recorded a slight increase of 0.01 percent and closed at 4241.2 points, supported especially by investment shares led by “Al-Batinah Development”, which rose by 25 percent.

The Bahrain index fell by 1.08 percent to 2099.5 points, led by the decline of three shares, led by Ahli United Bank, which fell by 2.83 percent.

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