DUBAI, March 29 (Reuters) - Stock markets in the Gulf may move sideways in low turnover on Wednesday as crude oil prices and international stock markets offer little impetus to break the region’s indexes out of their narrow ranges.
Brent crude futures are at $51.48 a barrel; they have recovered 3.6 percent from last week’s low but are still trading under this year’s average of just below $55 a barrel. “It seems oil prices have found a floor of around $50, but we don’t expect there to be much upside either, at least for now, and so liquidity in Gulf equity markets will continue to remain at depressed levels,” said a Dubai-based portfolio manager.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan has edged up 0.2 percent.
In Dubai the index, last at 3,447 points, is trading below the 21- and 50-day moving averages, which some analysts consider technically bearish. Analysts at NBAD Securities said that for the near-term trend to turn bullish, there has to be “a clear close over the 3,530 barrier”, while a break below support at 3,200 points “will confirm a bearish pattern”.
In Abu Dhabi, food producer Agthia Group may attract interest after the company said it had completed the acquisition of a bottled water factory company in Saudi Arabia.
Aldar Properties , however, may see pressure as the largest listed real estate developer goes ex-dividend on Wednesday. Al Ain Insurance also goes ex dividend.
In Kuwait, five small and mid-sized companies, including Al Mazaya Holding, go ex-dividend on Wednesday. (Reporting by Celine Aswad; Editing by Andrew Torchia)