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Mon 21 Mar 2016 09:56 AM

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Gulf stock markets could soften after dip in crude prices

Tadawul may see profit taking, while Dubai Financial Market faces minor technical resistance at March peaks

Gulf stock markets could soften after dip in crude prices
(Getty Images)

Stock markets in the Gulf may soften because of profit-taking on Monday after Brent oil pulled back further below $41 a barrel and Asian equity markets edged down.

The Saudi stock index, last at 6,482 points, is testing technical resistance on its 100-day average, now at 6,470 points; profit-taking at this level would not be surprising.

Zain Saudi may lose steam after jumping 9.4 percent on Sunday, bringing its gains to 23 percent since Reuters reported on Wednesday that its Kuwaiti parent Zain was narrowing the field of potential bidders for its mobile transmitter towers in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. In a brief statement after the close on Sunday, the parent Zain said there were no fresh developments in its plans to sell the towers.

Dubai's index, last at 3,387 points, faces minor technical resistance at the March peaks of 3,410-3,421 points.

In Oman, Bank Muscat may see selling after it said 30.3 million rials ($78.7 million) of compulsorily convertible bonds issued in 2013 were being converted into common shares at a price of 0.337 rial and would be issued soon.

The stock last closed in the market at 0.366 rial, matching a closing low that it hit on Jan. 21, which was the lowest finish since July 2009.

In Egypt, the index fell 0.3 percent on Sunday after soaring 14 percent last week on hopes that the devaluation of the currency would attract foreign fund inflows. The pull-back may trigger more profit-taking, especially as weakness of the Egyptian pound in the black market on Sunday suggested more depreciation may be in store.

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