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Wed 13 Jul 2011 10:24 AM

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Petchems, banks up as Saudi ends losing run

Dubai's market rebounds from Tuesday's low; Oman's index ends its two-session decline

Petchems, banks up as Saudi ends losing run
(Getty Images)

Petrochemical stocks lifted Saudi Arabia's index after data
from China boosted global sentiment, with bank stocks also up following
well-received second-quarter earnings.

The kingdom's benchmark rose 0.3 percent to 6,509 points,
halting a three-day losing streak.

But summer trading remained muted and analysts warned
quarterly earnings are unlikely to be a long-term catalyst to take stocks
higher.

"The two markets people have been most focused on are
Saudi Arabia and Qatar, which have seen very little volatility and have been
stable," said Akram Annous, MENA strategist at Al Mal Capital.
"You're at a point where you're not trading on earnings in either
direction, so people are trying to look at the macro picture."

Bellwether Saudi Basic Industries Corp gained 0.5 percent,
and Riyad Bank climbed 2.2 percent. The lender extends gained for a third day
since posting a 9 percent rise in quarterly net-profit.

SABB Bank jumped 4.8 percent. It posted a 90.6 percent rise
in quarterly profit on Tuesday, beating analysts' estimates.

Dubai's market rebound from Tuesday's low, and Oman's index ended
its two-session decline as Bank Muscat supported after strong second-quarter
earnings.

Regional sentiment improved after European stocks pared some
of its losses, helped by a better-than-expected China second-quarter GDP
reading.

Dubai's benchmark gained 1.4 percent to close at 1,554
points, rising from Tuesday's 13-day low.

Emirates NBD , the largest listed stock on the index, gained
4 percent, and bellwether Emaar Properties climbed 1.7 percent.

Most stocks ended higher with 11 ending flat.

Oman's Bank Muscat gained 2 percent, while the index climbed
0.4 percent to 5,990 points.

Elsewhere, Qatar National Bank led gainers, up 1.2 percent
against the index that rose 0.5 percent to 8,469 points. The benchmark
recovered from Tuesday's July low.

"There is a good momentum in Qatar - valuations are at
decent levels," said Sebastien Henin, portfolio manager at The National
Investor.

"I would not be surprised to see recurrent buying flows
in this market. You'll see good buying on dips."

 

Masraf Al Rayan rose 0.6 percent, up 3.2 percent so far in
June.

Investors are betting on upside from quarterly earnings,
lifting the stock, Henin said.