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Thu 24 Nov 2011 10:57 AM

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Dubai up from 7-year low; Abu Dhabi, Qatar dip

Steady opening on European markets lends support to Dubai's benchmark index

Dubai up from 7-year low; Abu Dhabi, Qatar dip
Most Gulf markets slipped a day earlier after weak data from China, Europe and US raised fears of a global recession

Dubai's index eased away from the previous day's seven-year
low after a steady opening on European markets lends support, but the Abu Dhabi
and Qatar benchmarks fell.

Dubai's measure ended 0.1 percent higher at 1,348 points,
halting six sessions of declines.

Heavyweight lender Emirates NBD was the main support, rising
0.9 percent, and telecoms operator du gained 1.1 percent.

"Right now the spotlight is entirely on international
markets, giving direction to our and regional markets," said Marwan
Shurrab, vice-president and chief trader at Gulfmena Investments.

"As long as the situation oversees is stable, I
wouldn't expect further declines from these support levels. But any
deterioration will play a big role in pushing markets further down and we could
see another sell-off although on low volumes."

World stocks held near seven-week lows and investors were
reluctant to buy riskier assets even after eight consecutive sessions of losses
which should make prices attractive.

Abu Dhabi's index fell 0.5 percent to 2,418 points,
declining for a ninth straight session to reach its lowest close since March
2009.

Banks weighed, with First Gulf Bank down 2.4 percent and
National Bank of Fujairah slumping 9.9 precent.

In Qatar, the measure fell to a three-week low, down 0.1
percent to close at 8,565 points.

Industries Qatar and Qatar National Bank slipped 0.8 and 0.3
percent respectively.

Oman's index ended a nine-session losing streak, staging a
small recovery in late trade as investors picked up battered bluechip stocks.

The index ended 0.2 percent higher at 5,429 points, rising
from Wednesday's 28-month low.

"There is some local buying seen both from pension
funds and local asset managers on valuations after such a steep fall," said
Kunal Damle, head of international equity sales at Bank Muscat.

"From next month we will start seeing some interest in
dividend yielding stocks like the oil, marketing and telecoms."

Raysut Cement gained 2.8 percent, Bank Muscat rose 1.2
percent and Renaissance Services climbed 1.8 percent.

In Kuwait, the index ended 0.3 percent lower at 5,782
points, extending 2011 losses to 16.9 percent.

Market confidence is still shaky after protestors last week
stormed a parliament building, demanding prime minister Sheikh Nasser Al Mohammad
Al Sabah step down.

The public prosecutor has ordered the arrest of 45 people
accused of involvement in the protest.

"Volumes and liquidity are already very low, because of
many other reasons, mostly bad results, continued losses, fear from EU crisis
and fear from global recession," said Safaa Zbib, head of research at
Kuwait and Middle East Financial Investment Co. "The whole formula is not
helping," she added. "The cherry on top is the local political
unrest."

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