Most Gulf bourses retreat on Tuesday

Most bourses in the Gulf inched lower Tuesday after oil prices pulled back overnight.

Brent oil futures were trading at $44.11 a barrel, near two-week lows, while MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was near one-month lows.

Petrochemical shares were the main drag on Saudi Arabia’s stock index, with bellwether Saudi Basic Industries dropping 0.9 percent. The index fell 0.7 percent.

Saudi Airlines Catering climbed 2.3 percent after saying it had renewed a contract with Oman Air. The three-year contract has a total value of 35 million riyals ($9.33 million) and will be reflected in third-quarter results, the firm said. First-quarter 2016 revenue was 559.2 million riyals.

Earnings at real estate firms have been mixed in the United Arab Emirates but the latest to report, Abu Dhabi’s Aldar Properties, posted results above analysts’ expectations.

The builder of Abu Dhabi’s Formula One circuit reported a 14.1 percent rise in first-quarter net profit to 649.0 million dirhams ($176.7 million); analysts at SICO Bahrain had forecast 453.6 million dirhams. However, the stock fell 1.9 percent.

Abu Dhabi’s index pulled back 1.1 percent, also dragged down by a 1.3 percent drop in Etisalat, the largest telecommunications operator.

Etisalat’s rival, Dubai-listed du, weighed on Dubai’s index, which edged down 0.1 percent. Shares in du retreated 1.4 percent. But builder Arabtec, which has not yet reported first-quarter earnings, rose 2.1 percent.

QATAR

In Doha, the main index reversed course and ended 0.3 percent higher, lifted by heavyweight property developer Ezdan Holding, which added 2.3 percent. The company released initial price thoughts for an Islamic bond issue of five years duration, a lead manager said on Tuesday.

“Companies are tapping the bond market more and more to raise capital and this bodes well in an environment of still-low interest rates,” said a Dubai-based fund manager, adding that appetite for investment-grade bond issues might dwarf institutional fund flows into Gulf equity markets in the next few months.

TUESDAY’S HIGHLIGHTS

SAUDI ARABIA

* The index fell 0.7 percent to 6,644 points.

DUBAI

* The index lost 0.1 percent to 3,312 points.

ABU DHABI

* The index dropped 1.1 percent to 4,427 points.

QATAR

* The index rose 0.3 percent to 9,884 points.

KUWAIT

* The index edged down 0.2 percent to 5,352 points.

OMAN

* The index fell 0.7 percent to 5,979 points.

BAHRAIN

* The index was flat at 1,106 points.

Source: Reuters

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