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MIDEAST STOCKS-Major Gulf indexes off to mixed start

Credit: REUTERS/FAISAL AL NASSER

July 16 (Reuters) - Major Gulf markets were mixed on Thursday with the Saudi Arabian index trading flat after OPEC and allies such as Russia agreed to taper record oil supply curbs from next month.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, known as OPEC+, agreed on Wednesday to scale back production cuts from August as the global economy slowly recovers from the coronavirus pandemic.

The benchmark index .TASI in Saudi Arabia, the world's top crude oil producer, was flat as financials and energy stocks moved sideways. Al Rajhi Bank 1120.SE edged up 0.4%, while oil giant Saudi Aramco 2222.SE lost 0.3%.

Elsewhere, Jarir Marketing 4190.SE advanced 1.8% after it reported an increase in second-quarter net profit.

Dubai's main share index .DFMGI added 0.3%, with Emaar Properties EMAR.DU rising 1.9% and Emirates NBD Bank ENBD.DU up 1.1%.

A downgrade last week of Dubai's flagship real estate company Emaar Properties will likely push up the emirate's borrowing costs if it decides to refinance $750 million in bonds due in October, Reuters reported citing bankers and analysts.

The credit ratings of government-related entities are often seen by investors as a proxy for Dubai, which is not rated by any of the major ratings agencies.

S&P Global Ratings downgraded Emaar to a BB+ "junk" rating from an investment grade BBB- score, saying it expected a 30%-40% slump in the firm's earnings this year.

The Abu Dhabi index .ADI gained 0.7%, led by a 1.9% rise in the country's largest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank FAB.AD and a 0.4% increase in telecoms firm Etisalat ETISALAT.AD.

In Qatar, the index .QSI slipped 0.1%, hurt by a 0.9% fall in Qatar National Bank QNBK.QA, the Gulf's largest lender, and a 1.1% drop in petrochemical firm Industries Qatar IQCD.QA.

(Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne)

((AteeqUr.Shariff@thomsonreuters.com; +918061822788;))

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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