March 30, 2017 / 1:06 PM / 5 months ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Kuwait rebounds in volatile session, Dubai, Saudi firm

* Kuwait swings up in volatile session

* Reuters poll finds managers divided on Kuwait

* Banking shares support Saudi

* Dubai buoyed by blue chips

* FGB, NBAD shares fall on last day of trade as single stocks

* Qatar lags, Egypt flat

By Celine Aswad

DUBAI, March 30 (Reuters) - Most stock markets in the Gulf ended the week on a slightly positive footing on Thursday with Kuwait's index managing to rebound from heavy losses earlier in the session.

The Kuwaiti index swung 0.3 percent in a volatile session, after dropping as much as 2.0 percent earlier in the day as some shares which had pulled back in the first hour of trade triggered buy orders at those price dips.

Telecommunications operator Zain added 1.1 percent to 0.455 dinars, rebounding from a session low of .445 dinars.

In a Reuters poll of 13 leading regional fund managers, conducted over the past week, 23 percent of managers expected to raise their Kuwaiti equity allocations and the same proportion to reduce them.

But while some managers cite the Kuwaiti government's strong financial position, which has allowed it to avoid most austerity steps, others think the 22 percent rise in the index since the start of the year is excessive.

In Saudi Arabia, banking shares helped carry the index 0.8 percent higher with all 12 lenders advancing 1 percent or more. Mid-sized Bank Aljazira was the top gainer among them, jumping 7.8 percent.

Other cyclical shares were also strong with bookstore and electronics retailer Jarir jumping 3.1 percent.

Yanbu National Petrochemical, however, fell 0.4 percent after saying it planned a temporary shutdown at two of its facilities. The financial impact was estimated to be 110 million riyals ($29.3 million) and would be reflected in second- and third-quarter results, it added.

Elsewhere, Dubai's index climbed 1.0 percent with daily traded volumes doubling from Wednesday's very low levels.

Most mid-to-large cap companies made gains; Emaar Properties adding 1.1 percent and its retail operating unit Emaar Malls Group rising 1.5 percent.

In neighbouring Abu Dhabi, the index was lifted 0.2 percent higher on the back of gains in second and third tier shares. Eshraq Properties jumped 4.9 percent.

But shares of First Gulf Bank and National Bank of Abu Dhabi fell in their final day of trading as a separate entity. FGB declined 0.4 percent and NBAD dropped 1.9 percent. On April 1 the two lenders will merge to form a bank under the name National Bank of Abu Dhabi.

Shares of Waha Capital slumped 7.6 percent as its they went ex-dividend on Thursday.

In Doha, the index lagged behind and fell 0.3 percent. Vodafone Qatar lost 1.4 percent.

Egypt's index edged up 0.1 percent in very low volumes with declining shares outnumbering advancing ones 20 to nine.

Oriental Weavers Carpet was the top performer on Thursday jumping 4.7 percent while property investment company Porto Group was the worst performer, dropping 3.7 percent.

THURSDAY'S HIGHLIGHTS

SAUDI ARABIA

* The index added 0.8 percent to 7,002 points.

DUBAI

* The index rose 1.0 percent to 3,480 points.

ABU DHABI

* The index edged up 0.2 percent to 4,444 points.

QATAR

* The index fell 0.3 percent to 10,391 points.

KUWAIT

* The index added 0.3 percent to 7,029 points.

EGYPT

* The index edged up 0.06 percent to 12,995 points.

OMAN

* The index edged down 0.05 percent to 5,550 points.

BAHRAIN

* The index fell 1.8 percent to 1,356 points.

Editing by Andrew Torchia/Mark Heinrich

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