Gulf edges down despite boost from rising oil price

Brent crude closed oil above $50 a barrel on Friday
Gulf edges down despite boost from rising oil price
(Getty Images)
By Reuters
Sun 21 Aug 2016 06:50 PM

Most Gulf stock markets edged down on Sunday despite strength in some Saudi Arabian petrochemical shares, while Telecom Egypt boosted Egypt's bourse slightly.

Brent crude oil closed above $50 a barrel on Thursday and Friday for the first time since July 4. This encouraged buying of petrochemical stocks on Sunday, with Saudi Basic Industries adding 0.9 percent to 84.25 riyals, nearing technical resistance at 86-87 riyals, the top of the range in which it has traded since April.

Most other stocks were sluggish in the absence of fresh, positive news, and the main Saudi equities index fell 0.2 percent.

Dubai's stock index fell 0.4 percent to 3,560 points, once again retreating from technical resistance at its April peak of 3,605 points. Construction firm Drake & Scull slid 2.7 percent.

Qatar's index fell 0.2 percent. Stocks which surged last week on hopes they would be included in FTSE's emerging markets index next month lost steam, with Qatar National Bank flat and Qatar Insurance losing 1.4 percent.

Bahrain's index outperformed the region, rising 0.7 percent, but that was mostly because of a 6.3 percent jump in Arab Banking Corp in very thin trade.

In Egypt, the index rose 0.4 percent as Telecom Egypt surged 3.0 percent. Late last week the telecommunications regulator approved revised terms for 4G mobile broadband network licences; Telecom Egypt has said it will buy a licence.

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