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MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi extends gains; other major Gulf markets slip

Credit: REUTERS/FAISAL AL NASSER

Saudi stocks rose for a second straight day on Tuesday, continuing to recover after falling last week following attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman.

June 18 (Reuters) - Saudi stocks rose for a second straight day on Tuesday, continuing to recover after falling last week following attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman.

Investor concerns have eased somewhat after both Tehran and Riyadh said they did not want a war, but tensions in the region remain high, making stock trading potentially volatile.

The Saudi index .TASI was up 0.4 percent in early trading, but other major stock markets in the Gulf fell.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Tuesday that Iran will not wage war against any nation, a day after the United States announced the deployment of more troops to the Middle East amid rising tensions between Tehran and Washington.

On Saturday, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman urged the international community to take a "decisive stand" but said Riyadh does not want a war.

Saudi banking shares rose on Tuesday.

Al Rajhi Bank 1120.SE gained 0.6% and Saudi British Bank 1060.SE was 2.1% higher. On Sunday, the latter completed its merger with Alawwal Bank creating the country's third-largest bank, becoming a single listed company after regulatory approvals. Alawwal Bank was de-listed from the bourse on Monday.

Qatar's index .QSI fell 0.3%, down for a fourth straight session mainly pressured by its financial stocks. Qatar National Bank QNBK.QA shed 1.8% and Qatar Islamic Bank QISB.QA dropped 0.4%.

On Monday, Moody's said in a note that Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and Iraq are most exposed to Iran's potential blockade of the Strait of Hormuz.

Iran's military denied on Monday being behind the attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman last week, and said if it decided to block the Strait of Hormuz, a vital gateway in the Gulf for the oil industry, it will do it publicly.

The Dubai index .DFMGI, which had traded flat in the previous session, was down 0.2% on Tuesday, hurt by real estate shares. Emaar Properties EMAR.DU slid 1.2% and its unit Emaar Malls EMAA.DU lost 1.1%.

In Abu Dhabi, the index .ADI traded flat with First Abu Dhabi Bank FAB.AD, the country's largest lender, gaining just 0.1%.

(Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; Editing by Susan Fenton)

((AteeqUr.Shariff@thomsonreuters.com; +918067497129;))

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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