MIDEAST STOCKS-Most Gulf markets inch lower as UAE reports sharpest virus spike


Sept 24 (Reuters) - Most major stock markets in the Gulf region fell in early trade on Thursday, after the United Arab Emirates reported its sharpest daily spike in coronavirus cases.

The United Arab Emirates on Wednesday reported its highest daily number of infections since the start of the pandemic at 1,083 new cases.

Dubai's main share index .DFMGI dropped 0.8%, dragged down by a 0.9% fall in Emirates NBD Bank ENBD.DU and a 1.3% retreat in Dubai Islamic Bank DISB.DU.

The Abu Dhabi index .ADI eased 0.3%, hurt by a 0.2% decrease in First Abu Dhabi Bank FAB.AD and a 2.5% decline in energy firm Dana Gas DANA.AD.

The UAE has recorded 87,530 infections and 406 deaths from COVID-19 so far. The government does not disclose where in the country of seven emirates the infections or deaths occurred.

The benchmark index .TASI in Saudi Arabia, which traded after a day's break, edged up 0.1% with Jabal Omar Development 4250.SE rising 2.1%, while Najran Cement 3002.SE soared 9.9% after it proposed first-half dividend of 0.75 riyal per share.

In Qatar, the index .QSI lost 0.6%, as most of the stocks were in negative territory including the Gulf's largest lender Qatar National Bank QNBK.QA, which was down 1.1%.

(Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich)

((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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