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Sun 14 Aug 2011 11:14 AM

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Saudi index ends low as traders book profits

Dubai's property stocks lift index, as it claws back recent losses and ends at a six-day high

Saudi index ends low as traders book profits
Qatari investor stock exchange

Saudi Arabia's index ended lower, after a strong rebound on Saturday following a lift in US stocks, as traders looked to book profits.

Most trading was focused on heavyweight Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) which slipped 0.8 percent.

Islamic lender Al Rajhi Bank shed 1 percent while Saudi Kayan Petrochemicals bucked the trend to gain 0.3 percent.

The benchmark ended 0.7 percent down at 6,115 points.

Abu Dhabi's Dana Gas rebound from a 28-month low after
investors shifted focus away from global concerns and reacted to the firm's
estimates-beating second-quarter earnings.

The energy firm rose 3.7 percent, accounting for about half
of all shares traded on the index. It said on Wednesday it more than tripled
its second quarter net profit.

The emirate's benchmark gained 0.5 percent to end at 2,600
points. Aldar Properties supported with a 1.7 percent climb.

Dubai's property stocks lifted the index by 1 percent to
close at 1,479 points, as it clawed back recent losses and ended at a six-day
high.

Emaar Properties gained 2.2 percent and Arabtec rose 1.5 percent.

"In the past five to six years, from the mid of
Ramadan, you see a pick-up in UAE stocks, which lasts for a month until after
Eid (the celebration that marks the end of the Muslim month of fasting),"
says an Abu Dhabi-based trader, who asked not to be identified due to company
policy.

"This year, you're seeing the same thing, but because
of the backdrop in terms of US downgrade and Europe debt problems, the Ramadan
rally will be weaker than but I think there will still be a Ramadan
rally."

Large-cap, well traded stocks will lead the move higher, he
adds.

Drake & Scull rose 0.3 percent after posting
second-quarter net profit of AED55m on Thursday, marginally beating an
analysts' average forecast of AED52.8m.

Union Properties shed 0.8 percent after it deepened
quarterly losses to AED521m ($141.8m).

Elsewhere, Qatar's benchmark edged up 0.1 percent to close
at 8,116 points.

Gainers outnumber loser 13 to seven.

Oman's Galfar Engineering led gainers after posting a rise
in second-quarter net profit, while other shares also rally in reaction to rise
in global markets.

Galfar Engineering closed up 3.7 percent, rising from an
all-time low. It posted a second-quarter net profit increase of 12 percent to
OMR2.6m ($6.96m) on Thursday, according to the bourse website.

Other stocks also closed higher, with heavyweight Bank
Muscat climbing 1.8 percent, Renaissance Services gaining 1 percent and Oman
Telecommunications Co (Omantel) advancing 1.3 percent.

The benchmark ended 1 percent higher at 5,479 points,
lifting from a two-year low.

"We're not seeing a follow through in market
performance but that's very seasonal in Oman in general," says Haissam
Arabi, chief executive and fund manager at Gulfmena Investments.

"But on economic fundamentals, it would be my number fourth
pick, after Saudi Arabia, UAE and Qatar."

Gulf markets were battered last week amid fears of US
economy retreating back into recession on weak manufacturing data and a credit
rating downgrade, while Europe's debt woes adding to the panic.

Elsewhere, Kuwait's index ended 0.5 percent lower at 5,820
percent, giving back gains from early session trading.

It sank to a new seven-year low.