Petrochemicals, cement lift Saudi index

UPDATE 6: Dubai ends up, a day after its biggest one-day decline for seven weeks.
Petrochemicals, cement lift Saudi index
By Nicolas Parasie
Tue 18 Aug 2009 10:15 AM

Petrochemical and cement stocks helped Saudi Arabia's index recoup some losses.

The index closed 0.8 percent higher at 5,760 points, after posting its biggest single-session decline in nearly two months one day earlier.

"The world got off to a better start than yesterday," said Ali Khan, managing director and head of brokerage at Arqaam Capital. "All in all, short term traders are taking the view that fears were overdone."

Saudi Chemical gained 2.5 percent and Qassim Cement climbed 2.1 percent.

The Saudi market is likely to move sideways in the coming weeks if there are no news events or economic indicators to give direction, Khan added.

Dubai's index DFM ended higher, clawing back some of its recent losses.

Dubai's index closed 2.3 percent higher at 1,815 points, one day after its biggest one-day decline for seven weeks.

"Markets had weakened, people are picking up cheap stocks again," said Vyas Jayabhanu, head of Al Dhafra Financial Broker.

Index heavyweight
Emaar Properties

climbed 4.5 percent, recovering some of its recent losses.

Union Properties

ended 4.3 percent lower amid concerns over its liquidity position.

Abu Dhabi's index ADI ended 0.8 percent higher at 2,804 points.

"Abu Dhabi continues to be the safe haven in the UAE," Jayabhanu says. "Economically, Abu Dhabi has more access to funds and another factor is that fuel prices are considered pretty good for the companies here."

Going forward, Dubai and Abu Dhabi markest are seen moving sideways as volumes are likely to be low during Ramadan.

The Kuwait index KWSE ended lower, as investors dumped shares in favour of
Zain

.

Zain

gained 2.8 percent, after bank sources said the telecom operator was in talks with an Indian company over the possible sale of
Zain

's African assets.

Kuwait's index closed 0.2 percent lower to 7900 points.

"Again, most of the concentration is on
Zain

," says Talal al-Loghani, vice-president for Gulf equity markets at
Kuwait Finance and Investment Co

.

"
Zain

is creating to some extent uncertainty in the market, because many people are selling stocks to participate in the story." This applies to several Kuwaiti financial companies, which closed lower.

Qatar's index QSI closed 0.6 percent lower to 6,820 points, with mixed results among banks and property stocks.

The Bahrain index BAX ended 0.7 percent lower to 1,502 points, declining for a third trading day in a row, hitting a fresh low since Aug 5.

Oman's index ended slightly higher, in line with global markets, as worries about lower oil prices have eased.

The index gained 0.1 percent to 6,098 points, after suffering its biggest decline since July 13 on Monday.

"There were a lot of worries about the oil price, today we see a rebound as trust is coming to the market again," said Hassan Tawfiq, a senior broker at United Securities in Muscat.

"People are now building positions for the third quarter, expecting 3Q results to be positive."

Bank Muscat

added 0.4 percent, while
Oman Telecommunications Co

fell 0.4 percent.

Oman National Investments gained 2.5 percent as investors expect good third-quarter results, Tawfiq added.

Volumes in Muscat were thin and are likely to remain so ahead of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, due to begin around Aug 21. (Reuters)

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