January 3, 2019 / 8:30 AM / 6 months ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Global market weakness pressures Gulf markets

Jan 3 (Reuters) - All major Gulf markets fell on Thursday, weighed down by falling oil prices and volatile global markets on concern over the world economy and corporate earnings into 2019.

Continuing weakness in property shares contributed to a 0.4 percent decline in the Dubai index, one of the world’s worst-performing stock markets last year.

The emirate’s largest listed developer Emaar Properties lost 1.2 percent and construction company Arabtec retreated 1 percent.

Saudi Arabia’s index dipped by 0.2 percent, with National Commercial Bank down 0.8 percent and Al Rajhi Bank slipping by 0.4 percent.

Tabuk Cement, however, gained 2.4 percent after saying it had signed a memorandum of understanding to export 600,000 tonnes of clinkers and 150,000 tonnes of cement to war-torn Yemen.

Gulf Union Cooperative Insurance added 1.3 percent after publishing an offer document for a proposed acquisition of Al-Ahlia Insurance Co in a share-swap deal. Al-Ahlia rose 4.2 percent in active trade.

Qatar’s index eased by 0.3 percent, with Qatar National Bank down 1.5 percent.

Mesaieed Petrochemical plunged by 7.7 percent, having jumped by its 10 percent daily limit in the previous session on news that major shareholder Qatar Petroleum had finished distributing a tranche of free incentive shares to investors, potentially improving liquidity in the stock.

The Abu Dhabi index was also down 0.3 percent, with First Abu Dhabi Bank shedding 0.4 percent. (Reporting by Shakeel Ahmad and Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru Editing by David Goodman)

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