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Sun 15 May 2011 10:39 AM

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Saudi ends lower, extending losses

UAE, Qatar markets end lower as lack of local news flow leave bourses to track losses in international markets

Saudi ends lower, extending losses
RIPPLE EFFECT: UAE markets slipped in thin trade as investor sentiment was dampened by Fridays weakness in global markets and a fall in euro (Getty Images)

Petrochemical and banking stocks in Saudi Arabia, two of the largest sectors on the bourse, booked losses, weighing on the index after last week's gains.

The petrochem index declined 0.6 percent and the banking index eased 0.4 percent.

Market-mover Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) slipped 0.7 percent and Saudi Kayan shed 1.4 percent.

Al Rajhi Bank, the largest lender by market capitalisation, slipped 0.3 percent.

"I would expect a few days of selling pressure, but not major movements," said a Riyadh-based fund manager.

The index is closely correlated with the Standard & Poor measure, he said, which fell almost 2 percent in May.

While volumes hit a two-month high on Wednesday, it failed to break out of its trading range.

"Our bet is that 6,760 is a tough resistance level. Support might be at 6,555 levels," the trader added.

The Saudi index TASI ended 0.3 percent lower at 6,691 points, edging away from Wednesday's two-week high.

UAE and Qatar's markets ended lower as lack of local news flow left bourses to track losses in international markets.

Property stocks in Dubai weighed on the benchmark with Arabtec and Emaar Properties closing 1.5 and 1.6 percent lower respectively.

Dubai's index DFM ended 0.7 percent lower at 1,585 points and Abu Dhabi's index ADI fell 0.7 percent to 2,655 points.

"There is no volatility, low volumes and no news flow," said Sebastian Henin, portfolio manager at TNI National Investment.

"In this current environment, you need some additional news flow if you want the market to move to positive territory," he added.

Large cap stocks in Abu Dhabi tumbled with telecom operator etisalat down 0.5 percent. National Bank of Abu Dhabi and First Gulf Bank , the two largest listed lenders, fell 0.4 and 1.1 percent respectively.

Dana Gas and developer Sorouh Real Estate slid 2.9 and 1.5 percent respectively.

Elsewhere, Qatar's benchmark QSI extended losses, closing 0.5 percent lower at 8,667 points, edging away from Wednesday's near one-month high. "Europe closed negative on Friday- were flowing that trend in our markets," with the exception of Saudi Arabia, says Robert Pramberger, acting head of asset management at Doha-based investment company The First Investor.

Heavyweights Qatar National Bank and Industries Qatar fell 1.2 and 0.1 percent respectively.

UAE and Qatar drew closer to a review in June by index compiler MSCI for an emerging market status upgrade.

The market will continue to trade on MSCI optimism in coming weeks, while tracking regional moves, Pramberger said.

"My personal view is neutral to positive. Most of the criteria have been fulfilled and there is a good chance Qatar will get included," he added.

 

 

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