Most major Middle Eastern stock markets rebounded on Wednesday after global bourses stabilised following their tumble in recent days, but the biggest regional market, Saudi Arabia, was hit by profit-taking in petrochemical and cement shares.
The Saudi index rose almost 1 percent in early trade but then edged down for the rest of the day, closing 0.7 percent lower. Thirteen of 14 petrochemical shares dropped along with 11 of 14 cement shares.
Al Yamamah Steel Industries sank 6.2 percent after saying quarterly net profit tumbled to 6.7 million riyals ($1.8 million) from 29 million riyals a year ago because of a slowdown in projects and stiff competition. SICO Bahrain had forecast a profit of 22.3 million riyals.
But food retailer Abdullah Al-Othaim Markets, which rose on Tuesday after saying quarterly profit grew 75 percent, climbed a further 5.5 percent.
Dubai's index gained 0.8 percent as blue chip Emaar Properties added 1.1 percent. In Abu Dhabi, the index rose 1.2 percent as the biggest bank, First Abu Dhabi Bank, climbed 1.3 percent.
Ras Al Khaimah Ceramics jumped 3.6 percent in thin trade after reporting it swung into the black last year and hiking its dividend.
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