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7 months ago
MIDEAST STOCKS-UAE, Qatar, Egypt gain on oil but Saudi slips as investors focus on budget
December 12, 2016 / 3:19 PM / 7 months ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-UAE, Qatar, Egypt gain on oil but Saudi slips as investors focus on budget

4 Min Read

* Dubai jumps to year's high in heavy trade

* Qatar extends gains after turning technically bullish

* Saudi slips in heaviest volume since April

* Oil rally now full priced, many think

* Egypt's OTMT recovers slightly from last week's losses

By Celine Aswad

DUBAI, Dec 12 (Reuters) - Stock markets in the United Arab Emirates and Qatar jumped on Monday as crude oil prices shot to their highest since mid-2015, but the uptrend in Saudi Arabia lost steam as investors anticipated the state budget.

Brent crude soared as high as $57.89 per barrel on Monday morning in response to the weekend deal between OPEC and non-OPEC producers to cut output.

The index in Dubai, which was closed on Sunday for a public holiday, climbed 2.8 percent to 3,657 points, its highest finish this year, in the heaviest trade since March.

It rose above technical resistance on its August peak of 3,624 points. Any clean break of that resistance - a second straight daily close above it - would be technically bullish, pointing up to the October 2015 peak of 3,740 points.

Eighty percent of traded shares advanced with the largest listed real estate developer, Emaar Properties, gaining 5.1 percent.

In Abu Dhabi, the index added 0.7 percent with the main support coming from a 2.2 percent gain in the largest listed stock, Etisalat. Abu Dhabi National Energy jumped 5.7 percent.

In Qatar the index added a further 1.4 percent to 10,329 points, closing for a second day above technical resistance on its 200-day average.

Commercial Bank advanced 1.1 percent to 32.85 rials. It said on Sunday it was offering 58.8 million new shares to rights holders at 25.50 riyals each; rights trading will start on Wednesday and end two weeks later.

Saudi, Egypt

In Saudi Arabia, the general market index slipped 0.5 percent in the heaviest trade since April. On Sunday, it had gained 1.1 percent on the oil-deal news; many institutional investors think the petrochemical sector is now fairly valued.

"The positive news with regards to OPEC and to the improving financial position of the government after the bond issuance in October has now been fully reflected in market prices. Now investors are repositioning portfolios in preparation for the state budget announcement before the end of the year," said Jassim Aljubran, analyst at Aljazira Capital.

Another round of subsidy cuts is expected in the budget, Aljubran added, but he believes the worst for Saudi companies is now largely behind them.

On Monday investors dumped most petrochemical shares with bellwether producer Saudi Basic Industries dropping 1.3 percent. The insurance sector, favoured by local retail investors, also sold off, declining 1.4 percent.

The index in Egypt, also closed on Sunday for a holiday, rose 1.3 percent after two sessions of declines. Exchange data showed foreigners were net buyers by a very small margin; they have been buyers consistently since the Egyptian pound was floated on Nov. 3.

Orascom Telecom, the most heavily traded share, rebounded 2.6 percent after plunging last week on news that long-time chief executive Najuib Sawiris would step down next month and that it is winding down a North Korean bank affiliate.

Ezz Steel surged 8.2 percent to 12.65 Egyptian pounds, its highest close in 19 months. Investors are still chasing companies that may benefit from the currency float; according to a note by Prime Holding, Ezz Steel has been able to pass on its higher costs from a weaker pound to its end users.

The market did not show any major reaction to the suicide bomb arrack at the weekend that killed 24 people at Cairo's main cathedral.

Monday's Highlights

Saudi Arabia

* The index fell 0.5 percent to 7,162 points.

Egypt

* The index added 1.3 percent to 11,444 points.

Dubai

* The index climbed 2.8 percent to 3,657 points.

Abu Dhabi

* The index added 0.7 percent to 4,549 points.

Qatar

* The index rose 1.4 percent to 10,329 points.

Kuwait

* Kuwait's index rose 0.5 percent to 5,637 points.

Bahrain

* The index slipped 0.1 percent to 1,191 points.

Editing by Andrew Torchia

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