ICEC

Petchems support Saudi stocks, Qatar bourse retreats after surge on FTSE

Gulf stock markets were narrowly mixed in quiet trade Thursday as petrochemical shares supported Saudi Arabia’s index but Qatar’s bourse pulled back after a surge this week due to hopes for inflows of foreign funds.

The Saudi stock index closed 0.1 percent higher as the petrochemical sector’s sub-index gained 1.1 percent after Brent crude oil futures hit a five-week high of $49.93 a barrel overnight. Saudi Arabia Fertilizers closed 4.8 percent higher in volatile trade.

But Qatar’s index dropped 0.8 percent after gaining this week on expectations for fund inflows in mid-September, when index compiler FTSE will upgrade the bourse to emerging market status.

Among stocks which may become components of FTSE’s emerging market index and led the bourse up this week, Qatar National Bank fell back 2.1 percent and Qatar Insurance edged down 0.1 percent.

Dubai’s stock index rose 0.4 percent to 3,572 points, rebounding after failing a test earlier this week of technical resistance on its April peak of 3,605 points. Emaar Properties rose 0.6 percent.

Port operator DP World climbed 1.0 percent after reporting a 50 percent jump in first-half net profit, though this was on the back of acquisitions; the company also said it was delaying the expansion of Dubai’s Jebel Ali port because of softer market conditions.

THURSDAY’S HIGHLIGHTS

SAUDI ARABIA

* The index edged up 0.1 percent to 6,227 points.

DUBAI

* The index rose 0.4 percent to 3,572 points.

ABU DHABI

* The index edged down 0.2 percent to 4,518 points.

QATAR

* The index dropped 0.8 percent to 11,320 points.

KUWAIT

* The index edged down 0.03 percent to 5,472 points.

OMAN

* The index was flat at 5,894 points.

BAHRAIN

* The index edged up 0.1 percent to 1,149 points.

Source: Reuters

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