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Thu 11 Aug 2011 10:27 AM

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Most Gulf markets end lower amid US economy concerns

Dubai bucks trend as set of fresh second-quarter earnings lifts bourse to a higher close

Most Gulf markets end lower amid US economy concerns
Kuwait stock market
Most Gulf markets end lower amid US economy concerns
Dubai stock market

Most Gulf markets returned to negative territory on Thursday
amid wide-spread concerns over the United States' economy, while a set of fresh
second-quarter earnings lifted Dubai's bourse to a higher close.

World stocks edged higher from their 11-month lows, but
regional sentiment was soured early morning following a steep sell-off in US,
Europe and Japan markets the previous day over debt woes and the euro zone banking

Oman's shares fell for a fifth-straight session to a fresh
two-year low. The benchmark lost 0.8 percent.

Renaissance Services slumped 5.7 percent over investor
concerns that its second-quarter earnings may be hit by a court case. Results
are due on Aug. 16, according to management.

Analysts expect a write-down from Renaissance's postponed
$500m initial public offering of its Topaz unit earlier this year.

The write-down is estimated to be around OR2m, according to
an EFG-Hermes research note.

Investors booked profit in Bank Muscat from Wednesday's
gains, when foreign buyers pushed the stock up. It fell 2.1 percent.

Elsewhere, Qatar's index ended 0.3 percent lower at 8,107
points, down 3.5 percent in August so far.

Losers outnumbered gainers 13 to six.

"The market is reacting to international markets - it's
more of a continuation of current fears and avoidance of risk appetite
internationally, which is affecting regional and other markets, like
commodities," said Marwan Shurrab, vice-president and chief trader at
Gulfmena Investments.

Abu Dhabi's index was off 0.5 percent.

First Gulf Bank dropped 3.2 percent and Dana Gas fell 1.8
percent despite posting forecast-beating results. Its second-quarter net profit
more than tripled.

"These results demonstrate another strong quarter for
Dana Gas, driven by both higher hydrocarbon prices, but more critically, by
operational performance," said a research note by EFG-Hermes. "Given
that we expect the company to ramp up production, particularly in Kurdistan, as
we go through the year and so anticipate progression in earnings growth."

In Kuwait, the benchmark slipped 0.9 percent, down for six
of last seven sessions.

Most large caps ended lower in a regional downbeat mood.
Telecoms operator Zain shed 1 percent, Gulf Bank fell 2 percent and Boubyan
Bank lost 1.7 percent.

Investment firm Kuwait Finance House bucked the trend and
gained 2.2 percent. It said it expects to gain $40m from a stake sale by one of
its units, which will be added to fourth-quarter results.

The unit is expected to get regulatory approval for the
stake sale by the end of this month, the company said in a statement.

Dubai's developer Deyaar helped lift the emirate's index by
0.2 percent in late trade.

Deyaar jumped 4.2 percent after saying it returned to profit
in the second quarter, as it handed over homes from recently completed

District cooling firm Tabreed ended 2.1 percent higher
having risen by as much as 4.7 percent in earlier trade.

It posted a 9-percent rise in second-quarter net profit on

Dubai's gains were limited with bellwether Emaar Properties
ending 1.1 percent lower.

Here's how the regional markets performed on Thursday:

Egypt: The index declined 1.5 percent to 4,592 points.

Oman:  The index fell
0.8 percent to 5,427 points.

Qatar: The benchmark slipped 0.3 percent to 8,107 points.

Abu Dhabi: The index declined 0.5 percent to 2,589 points.

Kuwait: The measure dropped 0.9 percent to 5,851 points.

Dubai: The index climbed 0.2 percent to 1,464 points.

Bahrain: The measure retreated 0.5 percent to 1,266 points.


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