ICEC

Weak oil and global bourses pull down Gulf stocks

Weak oil prices and global equity markets pulled down stocks in the Gulf Tuesday, with some Saudi Arabian petrochemical shares and banks falling sharply.

The Saudi index sank 1.2 percent as petrochemical giant Saudi Basic Industries fell 1.5 percent and Saudi British Bank lost 2.7 percent.

But major retailer Jarir Marketing, which had dropped 18 percent from its June peak because of Saudi Arabia’s economic slowdown, rebounded 2.5 percent.

Dubai’s index dropped 1.3 percent as Emaar Properties lost 1.6 percent, almost erasing its gain of the previous day after posting strong second-quarter earnings.

Strong earnings from Abu Dhabi’s Aldar Properties failed to boost that market, where the main index dropped 1.6 percent. Aldar fell 2.1 percent after reporting a 9.7 percent rise in second-quarter net profit to 657.4 million dirhams ($179 million), beating SICO Bahrain’s forecast of 384.1 million. Abu Dhabi banking shares were also very weak.

Qatar outperformed, falling only 0.3 percent because of a 1.3 percent rise by Qatar National Bank, the market’s biggest lender, to 154.50 riyals, its highest close since last November.

But Vodafone Qatar, the most heavily traded stock, dropped 1.6 percent to 11.32 riyals after QNB Financial cut the stock to an ‘underperform’ rating, lowering its target price to 8.10 riyals from 9.30.

TUESDAY’S HIGHLIGHTS

SAUDI

* The index sank 1.2 percent to 6,268 points.

DUBAI

* The index dropped 1.3 percent to 3,470 points.

ABU DHABI

* The index fell 1.6 percent to 4,507 points.

QATAR

* The index dropped 0.3 percent to 10,651 points.

KUWAIT

* The index edged down 0.1 percent to 5,463 points.

OMAN

* The index edged down 0.1 percent to 5,856 points.

BAHRAIN

* The index edged up 0.04 percent to 1,162 points.

Source: Reuters

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