February 9, 2017 / 5:56 AM / a year ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Global environment positive but Air Arabia may slump on loss

DUBAI, Feb 9 (Reuters) - Gulf stock markets may generally have a firm tone on Thursday because of a positive global environment, but Air Arabia may slump after reporting a surprise loss for the fourth quarter.

Air Arabia swung to a quarterly net loss of 38.6 million dirhams ($10.5 million) from a net profit of 55.9 million dirhams in the prior-year period. EFG Hermes and SICO Bahrain had forecast a fourth-quarter profit of 131.8 million dirhams and 127.9 million dirhams respectively.

Dana Gas could face pressure after reporting a fourth-quarter net profit of 7 million dirhams, down 95 percent from the year-earlier period, although the size of the drop was partly due to a one-off gain from an arbitration settlement a year ago.

Global markets are supportive, however, with MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan up 0.4 percent to its highest level since July 2015. Brent oil futures have climbed back over $55 a barrel. (Reporting by Celine Aswad; Editing by Andrew Torchia)

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