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Sun 21 Jun 2015 11:59 AM

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Activity is low on Gulf stock markets in thin Ramadan trade

A 2% drop in global oil prices on Friday may further dampen Gulf sentiment, particularly Saudi Arabia

Activity is low on Gulf stock markets in thin Ramadan trade

Gulf stock markets were trading within a narrow range early on Sunday with activity depressed because of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Dubai's main index edged down 0.5 percent. Amlak, which has swung wildly since it resumed trading this month after a multi-year suspension due to debt restructuring, fell 2.0 percent and was Dubai's most heavily traded stock by a large margin.

Dubai Parks and Resorts slipped 1.6 percent, though it remained up 76 percent from early February levels.

Abu Dhabi's market edged up 0.3 percent solely because of First Gulf Bank, which gained 0.7 percent.

Qatar's market was almost flat although United Development gained 1.4 percent to 24.28 riyals, testing technical resistance on its May peak of 24.35 riyals.

A 2 percent drop in global oil prices on Friday may further dampen Gulf sentiment, particularly Saudi Arabia, although hopes that more foreign institutions will soon be licensed to buy Riyadh-listed stocks directly could help to put a floor under prices there.

U.N.-sponsored talks in Geneva on a ceasefire between Yemen's warring parties ended on Friday without a deal as Saudi-led warplanes staged further strikes on Houthi rebels. While the conflict has not been a big issue for the Saudi market, it has made some retail investors more cautious.

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