June 1, 2017 / 5:29 AM / in 2 months

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf looks set to drop on oil's tumble

2 Min Read

DUBAI, June 1 (Reuters) - Major stock markets in the Gulf look set to end the week with losses on Thursday after crude oil prices tumbled to a three-week low overnight and global bourses stayed mostly weak.

Brent crude futures slumped 3 percent to below $50 a barrel late on Wednesday although they have rebounded 0.9 percent to $51.22 in Asia on Thursday morning. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan is flat after four sessions of losses; overnight, Wall Street closed slightly lower.

A monthly Reuters poll of regional fund managers, published on Wednesday, found uncertainty about oil prices was a major factor keeping them wary about increasing their exposure to Gulf equities. Funds were particularly negative about Qatar's stock market, with 54 percent of the 13 respondents saying they expected to cut their allocations in the next three months and none expecting to raise them.

Qatar's index is down 1.6 percent for the week and is near a six-month low as sentiment has been soured by last week's news that Ezdan Holding, one of the largest listed shares, had received preliminary approval from shareholders to delist.

Last at 9,901 points, the index has immediate technical support at the May low of 9,819 points. (Reporting by Celine Aswad; Editing by Andrew Torchia)

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