Gulf stocks move sideways early on, petchems support Saudi shares

Big 5

Most Gulf stock markets moved sideways in thin trading early on Sunday with petrochemicals supporting Saudi Arabia and real estate shares remaining soft in Dubai.

The Saudi stock index was up 0.5 percent after half an hour of trade with 11 of 14 petrochemical stocks higher and only two lower. The biggest, Saudi Basic Industries, added 0.7 percent.

Institutional investor aappeared less active because of global holiday season, leaving an unusually high protion of volume focused on second- or third-tier stocks. Home furnishings company Al Sorayai Trading and Industrial was the most heavily traded stock, rising 0.9 percent.

Dubai’s index slipped 0.3 percent as real estate firm Deyaar lost 1.2 percent. But GFH Financial rose 3.3 percent after saying Islamic International Rating Agency had reaffirmed its international ratings with a stable outlook.

In Qatar, the index edged up 0.1 percent as United Development gained 1.4 percent in active trade; it has been rising for three days after saying it had sold a plot in its Pearl real estate project to a strategic Qatari investor.

Widam Food added 3.4 percent to 69.00 riyals in unusually heavy trade, rising above technical resistance on the early December peaks of 68.50 riyals.

Source: Reuters