December 7, 2017 / 8:25 AM / a year ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf mixed in early trade, Saudi and Dubai edge up

DUBAI, Dec 7 (Reuters) - Gulf stock markets were mixed in early trade on Thursday with Saudi Arabia and Dubai edging up but Qatar continuing to slide after this week’s failure to make progress in ending Doha’s diplomatic isolation.

The Saudi index was 0.2 percent higher at 7,038 points after 45 minutes, rebounding from near strong technical support around 7,000 points, where the peaks in late October and November roughly coincide with the 200-day average, now at 7,015 points.

The most heavily traded stock, real estate firm Dar Al Arkan , climbed 4.1 percent to 12.38 riyals, continuing an uptrend. It has rocketed from around 7.50 riyals in mid-November, when MSCI said it was adding the stock to its Saudi Arabia Index.

Amiantit jumped 4.0 percent in unusually heavy trade after saying a 50 percent owned affiliate had won a five-year, 100 million riyal ($26.7 million) contract to manage water utility services in Jeddah.

In Dubai, the index rose 0.3 percent on the back of GFH Financial, which gained 3.7 pecent, and builder Drake & Scull, which added 2.0 percent in heavy trade. DSI has risen strongly in the past week as investors hope for major improvement in its fourth-quarter results after a big loss in the third quarter.

Emaar Properties DU> rebounded 1.6 percent but its unit Emaar Development continued to slide, falling 2.0 percent to a record low of 5.44 dirhams, compared to last month’s initial public offer price of 6.03 dirhams.

Qatar’s index dropped 0.4 percent after sinking 1.5 percent on Wednesday. Real estate firm Ezdan Holding, which had been rebounding strongly in recent days, fell back 4.9 percent.

The Qatari market surged early this week on hopes for progress in resolving Qatar’s diplomatic dispute with four other Arab states. But those hopes were dashed when Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, in an apparent snub of Qatar, did not send their heads of state to this week’s regional summit in Kuwait. (Reporting by Andrew Torchia; Editing by Angus MacSwan)

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