* Saudi index retreats from near technical resistance
* Zain Saudi continues rising on tower sale plan
* Dubai's Shuaa ends lower after buying Bahrain bank stake
* Banks buoy Abu Dhabi index
* Arabia Cotton Ginning continues rise in Egypt
By Andrew Torchia
DUBAI, Dec 26 The Saudi Arabian stock market's
post-budget rally ran out of steam on Monday as the index neared
technical resistance, while United Arab Emirates bourses
outperformed the region.
The Saudi index added 1.5 percent on
Sunday in reaction to Riyadh's modestly expansionary state
budget for 2017. But it closed 0.3 percent lower at 7,166 points
on Monday in lower trading volume. Technical resistance lies at
this year's peak of 7,235 points, hit earlier this month.
Utility Saudi Electricity, which jumped 8.7
percent on Sunday after the government said in the budget that
it would raise domestic fuel and electricity prices by
unspecified margins later this year, fell back 2.6 percent.
The petrochemical sector, which had outperformed
after the budget plan pledged not to raise gas feedstock prices
before 2019, slipped 0.4 percent.
But Zain Saudi, which rose 1.9 percent on Sunday
after saying it was in talks to sell its mobile transmitter
towers to a consortium of TASC SAL and ACWA Holding, climbed a
further 3.0 percent on Monday.
In Dubai, the index rose 0.8 percent as trading
volume expanded. Amusement park operator DXB Entertainments
gained 3.9 percent.
Shuaa Capital initially rose as much as 2.6
percent after it bought 14 percent of Bahrain's Khaleeji
Commercial Bank, a subsidiary of GFH Financial Group
, on Sunday for 9.6 million dinars ($25 million). But
Shuaa closed down 1.3 percent.
Retail and hospitality firm Marka, which surged
last week after news that its chief executive Nick Peel had
resigned, continued pulling back, losing 2.6 percent.
Abu Dhabi rose 0.4 percent on the back of strength in
blue-chip banks such as Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, up
In Egypt, the index dropped 0.6 percent amid
profit-taking in blue chips such as Global Telecom,
down 4.0 percent.
But Arabia Cotton Ginning, which climbed 5.9
percent on Sunday after its board approved splitting the company
into two separate entities, rose by the same margin again on
* The index dropped 0.3 percent to 7,166 points.
* The index rose 0.8 percent to 3,552 points.
* The index gained 0.4 percent to 4,456 points.
* The index fell 0.5 percent to 10,344 points.
* The index dropped 0.6 percent to 12,182 points.
* The index rose 0.3 percent to 5,714 points.
* The index edged down 0.1 percent to 5,727 points.
* The index fell 0.3 percent to 1,208 points.
(Editing by Hugh Lawson)