Nov 4 (Reuters) - Major stock markets in the Gulf traded
higher on Wednesday, in line with Asia shares, as financial
markets and oil prices rallied, with a closer-than-anticipated
presidential race sparking volatility.
Asian shares and U.S. equity futures surged as the
presidential election proved far closer than polls had predicted
between incumbent Donald Trump and Democratic contender and wide
favourite Joe Biden.
Crude prices rose above 2% and the move come ahead of data
expected to show U.S. crude stockpiles rose 900,000 barrels last
week after gaining 4.3 million barrels in the prior week.
Saudi Arabia's benchmark index advanced 1.2%, buoyed
mainly by gains in the financial stocks including National
Commercial Bank, which advanced 2.3%, while oil
behemoth Saudi Aramco firmed 0.9%.
On Tuesday, Aramco reported a 44.6% drop in third-quarter
net profit as the coronavirus crisis continued to choke demand
and weigh on crude prices.
However, the net profit was in line with analysts' estimate
provided by Refinitiv.
Dubai's main share index gained 0.9%, led by a 1.3%
rise in its largest lender Emirates NBD.
The bank confirmed on Tuesday it is in discussions with
Lebanon's Blom Bank regarding the potential
acquisition of Blom Bank Egypt.
The Abu Dhabi index was up 0.7%, driven by a 1.2%
rise in the country's largest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank
In Qatar, the index increased 0.5%, with Qatar Fuel
Co gaining 1.6%.
(Reporting by Ateeq Shariff and Aby Jose Koilparambil in
Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri)