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Wed 18 Nov 2009 09:44 AM

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SABIC weighs as Saudi index ends lower

UPDATE 5: Oman's MSI ends slightly higher after trading sideways for most of the session.

Selling pressure on Saudi bluechips weighed on the index TASI, which ended lower for the first session in three on declining volumes.

Saudi Basic Industries (SABIC) fell 0.6 percent and Samba Financial Group slipped 0.5 percent.

The benchmark declined 0.2 percent to 6,319 points, tracking a downward trend on most Gulf Arab markets.

Trading volumes fell by more than a quarter from the day before.

Investors booked profits in Dubai as the index DFM continued a corrective phase, with real estate and banks the main drag.

Emaar Properties

fell 1.6 percent, and
Emirates NBD

slipped 2.2 percent. All sectors declined, with telecommunications provider
Du

falling 3 percent and logistics firm
Aramex

slipping 2.8 percent.

"From a technical point of view, the market is not able to break the resistance of 2,200 in Dubai, and 3,000 in Abu Dhabi," said Chamel Fahmy, senior regional sales trader st Beltone Financial. "Volumes are still weak."

The index ended 1.4 percent lower at 2,147 points, its fourth decline in five sessions. Volumes fell by more than half from the day before.

Selling pressure on real estate stocks in Abu Dhabi dragged the index ADI lower.
Sorouh Real Estate

fell 2.1 percent and
Aldar Properties

slipped 1.9 percent.

The benchmark fell 0.5 percent to 2,950 points.

Oman's index MSI ended marginally higher, led by banks, after trading sideways for most of the session.

Ahli Bank

rose 1.45 percent and
Bank Sohar

added 0.9 percent as banks helped to lift the index.

Oman Cement

gained 1.3 percent.

"Local institutions are rebuilding positions in the banking sector," says Adel Nasr at United Securities.

The benchmark ended 0.1 percent higher at 6,388 points.


Qatar's index QSI bucked the regional trend on Wednesday, after heavyweight
Industries Qatar

, and banking stocks helped lift the benchmark higher.

Petrochemicals producer
Industries Qatar

rose 0.9 percent, and
Qatar Islamic Bank

, the country's second largest lender by market capitalisation, advanced 2.9 percent.

"Until the short term down trendline is decisively broken to the upside, we will maintain our bearish bias," said a note by
Shuaa Capital

.

"That said, close attention should be paid to the resistance area surrounding 7000."

The state of Qatar on Tuesday raised $7bn in sovereign bonds in three tranches, making the issue the largest sovereign offering this year.

Qatar National Bank

, one of joint lead managers on the issue, rose 3.72 percent.

Qatar's benchmark rose 1.4 percent to 7,084 points. (Reuters)