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Mon 9 May 2011 10:57 AM

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Saudi recovers oil-driven losses

Dubai Financial Market leads Dubai's index to a four-week low after reporting a 96% drop in Q1 earnings

Saudi recovers oil-driven losses
(Getty Images)

Saudi Arabia's index TASI rebounded from its oil-driven decline and recovered almost all of recent losses as bargain hunters helped lift the index.

"The market will continue to be volatile in the coming week, given that oil could be volatile as well as the dollar," said John Sfakianakis, chief economist at Banque Saudi Fransi in Riyadh.

Oil rebounded by more than $4 on Monday, helped by a weaker dollar as the euro strengthened and after Brent crude lost almost $17 last week.

Heavyweights Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) and Al Rajhi Bank gained 0.9 and 0.7 percent respectively.

"Petrochemicals still have room for upside because they are cyclical," he said. "We might also see a bit of upside to cement stocks because of their relation to the construction growth story."

The building and construction index gained 1.1 percent.

Saudi King Abdullah offered $93bn in social handouts in March, amid regional protests, which included SR250bn to ($66.7bn) be spent on 500,000 new homes.

Saudi Arabia's benchmark ended 0.8 percent higher to 6,673 points but was down 0.6 percent in May.

Dubai Financial Market led Dubai's index DFM to a four-week low after reporting a 96-percent drop in first-quarter earnings.

Developer Emaar Properties eased 0.3 percent and was down 4.9 percent in May.

"Even though in some sectors things are improving, like hospitality, some others, like real estate are still suffering a lot," said Sebastien Henin, portfolio manager at TNI National Investment. "Investors had a lot of hopes there, and some are probably very disappointed."

The UAE market needs a strong catalyst for a move higher, he added.

Dubai ended 0.2 percent lower at 1,588 points, its lowest close since April 11.

Abu Dhabi's index ADI also closed at a four-week low, down 0.4 percent to 2,676 points as bluechips tumbled.

Aldar Properties was the most actively traded stock and falls 3.2 percent, while competitor Sorouh Real Estate shed 1.4 percent. Dana Gas ended 1.5 percent lower.

Elsewhere, Qatar's index QSI ended 1 percent higher to 8,544 points, a 12-day high.

Analysts forecast a steady move up for the index as it tracks the country's economic growth.

Qatar's GDP is forecast to grow by 15.8 percent in 2011, according to Reuters' March poll.

Oman Telecommunications Co (Omantel) and engineering firm Galfar dragged Oman's index MSI to a five-week low after posting first-quarter earnings.

Contractor Galfar extended losses and closed 4.1 percent lower after posting a first-quarter net profit of OR1.38m.

First-quarter net profit at Omantel, the second largest stock on the index by market capitalisation, fell 19.8 percent, but came in line with analyst estimates.

The benchmark ended 0.3 percent lower at 6,265 points, its lowest close since April 4.

Heavyweights Bank Muscat and Nawras Telecommunications Co fell 0.8 and 0.7 percent respectively.

Saudi Arabia's index TASI extended gains, as investors picked up attractive stocks after crude price rebound from last week's losses.

Oil rebounded on Monday, up over $3 helped by a weaker dollar, rising Asian equity markets and bargain hunting by traders and investors after Brent crude lost over $16 last week.

"The increase in Brent crude in inclusion with the [recent] sell-off, is giving an impetus upwards," said John Sfakianakis, chief economist at Banque Saudi Fransi in Riyadh.

"Investors are taking opportunity in lower valuation."

The benchmark rose 0.5 percent to 6,656 points, its second gain in past five sessions.

Actively traded Saudi Arabian Mining Co rose 2.6 percent, hitting its all time high but giving back some of the gains. Rabigh Refining and Petrochemical Co added 0.7 percent.

Heavyweight Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) is up 0.7 percent.


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