Gulf bourses diverge in early trade

Stock markets in the Gulf trod separate paths at early trade on Monday, with Saudi Arabia’s market lagging while the two main markets in the United Arab Emirates held on to small gains.

Riyadh’s index was down 1.2 percent after an hour of trade amid a sell-off in petrochemical shares after oil prices weakened.

Brent oil was down 0.9 percent at $48.25 a barrel; mid-sized petrochemical producers were hit hardest, with Saudi Kayan dropping 3.0 percent.

Retail industry shares, which had been rebounding in recent days, also fell back; Fawaz Alhokair shed 0.9 percent.

Qatar’s index edged down 0.2 percent with Islamic lender Masraf Al Rayan and oil drilling rig provider Gulf International Services falling 0.5 and 0.8 percent respectively.

In the United Arab Emirates, however, investors bought shares which had dipped over the past week.

Dubai’s index added 0.6 percent with most trade concentrated in small and mid-cap shares; builder Drake & Scull and amusement park developer Dubai Parks and Resorts were each up more than 1.5 percent.

Abu Dhabi’s largest listed stock, Etisalat, rebounded more than one percent from Sunday’s loss and Dana Gas added 1.9 percent. This helped the main Abu Dhabi index edge up 0.3 percent.

Source: Reuters