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Mon 1 Dec 2008 10:34 AM

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Mixed fortunes for Gulf markets ahead of holidays

UPDATE 5: Late rally sees Dubai up but Saudi, Oman and Kuwait lower in run-up to Eid Al Adha break.

Gulf markets experienced mixed fortunes on Monday ahead of national and religious holidays.

Saudi Arabia's benchmark edged down 0.23 percent at 4,727 points, led by Samba Financial Group and Riyad Bank, which fell 2.24 and 2.76 percent respectively.

Dubai rallied in late trading on Monday to close higher ahead of national and religious holidays while Abu Dhabi fell after two trading days of higher closes.

Emaar Properties ended 1.71 percent higher and Dubai Investments Co climbed 0.86 percent as the emirate's benchmark advances 0.52 percent to 1,974 points.

Abu Dhabi's main measure fell 0.77 percent to 2,754 points led by National Bank of Abu Dhabi which fell 5.63 percent and Etisalat which declined 1.61 percent.

Banks led Qatar to close higher for a fifth trading day with Qatar National Bank climbing 2.75 percent and Commmercial Bank of Qatar advancing 4.16 percent.

Bahrain closed higher while Kuwait fell. Qatar's benchmark rose 1.26 percent to 6,147 points.

"I think in Doha we have seen the bottom," says Samer al-Jaouni, general manager of Middle East Financial Brokerage Co in Dubai.

Kuwait's benchmark fell 0.21 percent to 8,856 points led by National Bank of Kuwait which ended 4.94 percent lower.

Bahrain's main index rose 0.28 percent to 1,954 points.

Oman Cable Industries finished 1.44 percent lower and Raysut Cement 2.55 percent, as Muscat's benchmark fell after two trading days of higher closes.

The index, down more than 30 percent so far this year, closed 0.52 percent lower at 6,231 points.

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