Saudi ends flat in stock-specific trade

Investors await more cues for direction after first-quarter earnings are priced in
Saudi ends flat in stock-specific trade
(Getty Images)
By Reuters
Tue 26 Apr 2011 11:14 AM

Saudi Arabia's index TASI ended flat as investors await more cues for direction after first-quarter earnings are priced in.

"The overall index is not moving heavy in any direction - it's consolidating and building a base before moving higher," said a Riyadh-based who asked not to be identified.

The benchmark ended 0.02 percent higher at 6,686 points, a fresh two-month high.

The petrochemical index rose slightly, adding 0.2 percent. Saudi Arabian Fertilizers Co (Safco) gained 0.6 percent and Rabigh Refining and Petrochemical Co added 0.3 percent

"We're seeing some names like Petro Rabigh drawing a lot of interest," he said. The stock was up 20.7 percent in April.

Emaar Economic City and Saudi International Petrochemical added 2.2 and 2.1 percent respectively.

UAE markets edged lower as corporate earnings weight and as investor interest from institutional buyers was muted following Sunday's Easter holiday.

Dubai's index DFM closed 0.2 percent lower at 1,635 points, a 13-day low. Volumes were half of Monday's trading session.

Emaar Properties slipped 0.9 percent. The developer reported a 45 percent drop in first-quarter earnings on Sunday.

Telecom operator du closed 1.2 percent lower after earlier gains on forecast-beating first-quarter net profit.

"We're going to need remainder of numbers from UAE companies before anyone makes decision and liquidity returns," said Julian Bruce, EFG-Hermes director of institutional equity sales.

Property stocks weighed on Abu Dhabi's index with Aldar Properties falling 1.9 percent and Sorouh Real Estate down 0.7 percent.

The benchmark closed at a 10-day low and eases 0.05 percent to 2,689 points.

Kuwait's index KWSE ended on a 10-week high as banks recovered from a sell-off on Monday.

Ahli United Bank gained 1.9 percent, with the heaviest trading among the top 10 largest stocks. Agility was up 2.4 percent.

Global Investment House surged 6 percent after winning a $250m UAE court ruling against Abu Dhabi-listed National Bank of Umm Al Qaiwain.

"The market is healthy at this point, but on individual stock basis, there are very few bargains at these prices," said a Kuwait-based trader.

Banking stocks were the bourse's safe-haven, he added.

The benchmark rose 0.4 percent to close at 6,494, its highest close since February 16.



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