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Wed 29 Sep 2010 10:04 AM

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Saudi index extends slide; bluechips mixed

Kuwait's KWSE hits its highest level since May 24; Aramex leads Dubai.

Saudi index extends slide; bluechips mixed
STOCK WATCH: Abu Dhabis index ADI climbed 0.6 percent to 2,677 points.(Getty Images)

Saudi Arabia's index TASI ended lower for a third day in a mixed session for the bluechips.

Al Rajhi Bank fell 0.9 percent and Saudi Telecom Co dropped 0.8 percent.

Defensive stocks were steady. Dairy producer Almarai rose 1.1 percent to claw back some of Tuesday's 2.2 percent drop, its biggest decline since since July, while Etihad Etisalat ended flat (Mobily).

"These stocks have done very well, so people are reducing positions because earnings will have to be good to justify recent price movements," said a Riyadh-based trader who asked not to be identified.

Almarai and Mobily were each up 23 percent this year, outperforming the index, which has gained 4.4 percent over the same period.

The benchmark fell 0.2 percent to 6,392 points.

Dubai's index DFM ended higher, led by Aramex as traders bet the company will report strong third-quarter earnings.

Aramex climbed 4.6 percent, recording a 27-month high to take its September gains to 34 percent.

"We might see strong earnings in third quarter for Aramex," says Samer al-Jaouni, general manager of Middle East Financial Brokerage Co.

"Traders are buying ahead of its third quarter results."

Emaar Properties rose 0.8 percent ahead of a board meeting on Wednesday.

"Everyone is waiting for reports from the Emaar board meeting," said Jaouni. "This is why the trade volumes are not huge."

Arabtec rose 2 percent and Deyaar climbed 0.3 percent.

"The market started bullish because of the positive closing we saw in the US markets yesterday," said Jaouni.

The Dubai benchmark rose 0.7 percent to end at 1,702 points.

Abu Dhabi's index ADI climbed 0.6 percent to 2,677 points.

Emirates Telecommunication (Etisalat) gained 0.8 percent following media reports the company has offered to buy a 46 percent stake in Kuwait's Zain.

Oman's index MSI ended lower as selling pressure on Bank Muscat weighed.

Bank Muscat dropped 0.8 percent and National Bank of Oman slipped 0.6 percent.

"Positive sentiment is still intact, but Gulf and foreign investors' selling pressure on Bank Muscat is keeping the index flattish," said Gunjan Gupta, head of research at Oman Arab Bank. "Omantel has big demand at 1.2 rials."

Oman Telecommunications Co (Omantel) rose 0.2 percent to 1.203 rials.

The benchmark slipped 0.2 percent to 6,490 points, declining for a second day since Monday's 19-week high. (Reuters)

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