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MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf markets join global equity slide on China fears
September 1, 2015 / 3:19 PM / 2 years ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf markets join global equity slide on China fears

* Gulf markets resume broad sell-off
    * China major destination for Gulf exports
    * Fitch cuts outlook for large Saudi banks
    * Investors book Qatar profits after MSCI adjustments
    * Egypt pulls back, some stocks extend gains on gas find

    By Olzhas Auyezov
    DUBAI, Sept 1 (Reuters) - Stock markets across the Middle
East fell on Tuesday alongside steep drops in global stock
prices because of renewed uncertainty about the state of China's
economy.
    Stock markets fell after data showed China's manufacturing
activity had contracted in August at its fastest pace in three
years, reinforcing fears of a slowdown in the world's
second-largest economy despite a flurry of government support
measures.  
    Oil fell more than 4 percent after the Chinese data, giving
up some of the gains made on Monday, when both Brent and U.S.
crude futures had surged more than 8 percent. 
   This rise was fuelled by an OPEC commentary saying the group
was ready to talk to other producers to achieve reasonable oil
prices. A downward revision of U.S. output data by the U.S.
Energy Information Administration also provided support.
 
    Saudi Arabia's main stock index fell 1.1 percent
with all sectors in the red. China is the second-biggest market
for the kingdom's exports and a hard landing for its economy
would have a big impact on Saudi Arabia.
    National Shipping Company of Saudi Arabia (Bahri),
which is the exclusive oil shipper for Saudi Aramco 
and also handles oil products and petrochemicals, tumbled 4.4
percent.
    Large banks National Commercial Bank and Al Rajhi
 fell 1.0 and 1.7 percent respectively after credit
rating agency Fitch revised its outlook on their ratings to
negative from stable, following a similar revision for the
sovereign's outlook last month.
    
    UAE, EGYPT
    Dubai's benchmark dropped 2.1 percent in another
broad sell-off which affected all sectors. Abu Dhabi's bourse
 fell 2.6 percent.
    Qatar's index was down 1.3 percent. Ezdan Holding
 and Commercial Bank of Qatar dropped 2.6
percent each on profit-taking after surging in the run-up to the
rebalancing of MSCI's emerging markets index, which increased
the two stocks' weightings at the end of Monday.
    Egyptian stocks were down 0.7 percent after a 2.8
percent jump the previous day triggered by the discovery of a
potentially huge gas field off the country's Mediterranean
coast.
    Ezz Steel, which analysts say could be one of the
biggest beneficiaries if new gas supplies boost domestic power
generation, continued to rise, adding 3.7 percent on top of
Monday's 10 percent gain.
    Sidi Kerir Petrochemicals, which uses natural gas
as feedstock, jumped 3.4 percent and carpet maker Oriental
Weavers, whose main input is also sourced from
hydrocarbons, climbed 3.0 percent.
            
    TUESDAY'S HIGHLIGHTS
    
    SAUDI ARABIA
    * The index fell 1.1 percent to 7,438 points.
    
    DUBAI
    * The index dropped 2.1 percent to 3,585 points.
    
    ABU DHABI
    * The index slid 2.6 percent to 4,375 points.
    
    QATAR
    * The index lost 1.3 percent to 11,415 points.
    
    EGYPT
    * The index edged down 0.7 percent to 7,204 points.
    
    KUWAIT
    * The index slipped 0.4 percent to 5,798 points.
    
    OMAN
    * The index lost 1.1 percent to 5,805 points.
    
    BAHRAIN
    * The index was flat at 1,299 points.

 (Editing by Andrew Torchia and Jane Merriman)

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