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An investor monitors a screen displaying stock information at the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange

An investor monitors a screen displaying stock information at the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange June 25, 2014./File Photo

Aug 8 (Reuters) – Most stock markets in the Gulf ended down on Tuesday after tracking oil and global shares lower with the Saudi index falling for a ninth consecutive session.

Oil prices – a catalyst for the Gulf’s financial markets – fell by more than 1.5% after data showed China’s imports and exports fell much more than expected in July in another sign of a sluggish post-COVID rebound for the world’s largest oil importer.

Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index (.TASI) lost 0.3%, weighed down by a 1.8% fall in Dr Sulaiman Al-Habib Medical Services Co (4013.SE) and a 2.2% decrease in Saudi National Bank (1180.SE).

Oil giant Saudi Aramco (2222.SE), however, advanced 1.2%.

Aramco on Monday reported a net profit of 112.81 billion riyals ($30.07 billion) for the second quarter, beating a company-provided median estimate from 15 analysts of $29.8 billion.

The group declared a base dividend of more than $19.51 billion, roughly in line with its payout for the first quarter.

It will also start paying performance-linked dividends for six quarters, starting with a $9.87 billion payout in the third quarter.

The Qatari index (.QSI) dropped 1.1%, as most of the stocks on the index were in positive territory, including petrochemical maker Industries Qatar (IQCD.QA), which retreated 3.5% ahead of its earnings announcement.

Dubai’s main share index (.DFMGI) finished flat.

MSCI’s index of global stocks (.MIWD00000PUS) fell 0.36% as investors assessed the latest weak economic data out of China.

Abu Dhabi bucked the trend. Its index (.FTFADGI) advanced 1.7%, led by a 3% rise in International Holding Co (IHC) (IHC.AD).

Last week, conglomerate IHC said it was refocusing on domestic acquisitions as global economic challenges hamper its efforts to expand abroad and net profit fell slightly in the second quarter.

Outside the Gulf, Egypt’s blue (.EGX30) dropped 0.5%, with tobacco monopoly Eastern Co (EAST.CA) losing 2.8%.

Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; editing by Barbara Lewis

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