October 4, 2016 / 8:11 AM / in 10 months

MIDEAST STOCKS-Telecoms help Saudi rebound, rest of Gulf consolidates

2 Min Read

DUBAI, Oct 4 (Reuters) - Strong telecommunications shares helped Saudi Arabia's stock market rebound early on Tuesday after several days of losses, while other Gulf markets moved little.

The Saudi stock index, which has been tumbling because of concern about the impact of government austerity measures on the economy, gained 0.8 percent in the first 45 minutes of trade.

The main boost came from unusually heavy trade in the telecommunications sector, after the government said at the weekend that it would provide operators with "unified licences" allowing them to offer full range of services.

It did not give details, but analysts think this will open the industry to more competition, potentially reducing the dominance of market leader Saudi Telecom.

Zain Saudi Arabia surged 9.6 percent, Etihad Etisalat (Mobily) climbed 5.1 percent and Atheeb Telecommunication was up 6.9 percent, as all three stocks resumed trading after being suspended for two days.

Saudi Telecom, which tumbled 4.9 percent on Monday, rebounded 1.0 percent.

Some other stocks beaten down by worries about the weakening domestic economy in recent days saw cautious buying-back, with Al Rajhi Bank up 2.5 percent after falling 1.5 percent on Monday.

The petrochemical sector, which is exposed mainly to foreign rather than domestic demand and outperformed earlier this week, was sluggish, with Saudi Basic Industries trading flat.

Elsewhere in the Gulf, Dubai's index edged down 0.2 percent to 3,403 points. It turned technically bearish on Monday when it closed 1.9 percent down at 3,408 points, breaking technical support on the August and September lows of 3,430-3,442 points, which becomes immediate resistance.

Aramex gained 0.5 percent after saying it had established an e-commerce joint venture with state-owned Australia Post, in a move that could herald a new expansion drive by the Dubai company.

Abu Dhabi's index and Qatar both edged up 0.2 percent. (Reporting by Andrew Torchia; Editing by Dominic Evans)

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