February 8, 2018 / 8:09 AM / 4 months ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf narrowly mixed after Wall Street loses steam

* Saudi Arabia index down 0.2 percent

* Dubai index down 0.2 percent

* Abu Dhabi index up 0.1 percent

* Qatar index up 0.3 percent

DUBAI, Feb 8 (Reuters) - Gulf stock markets were narrowly mixed in quiet, early trade on Thursday after Wall Street shares lost steam and oil prices fell overnight.

Saudi Arabia’s index slipped 0.2 percent in the first 30 minutes with losers outnumbering gainers by a ratio of more than two to one.

But food company Savola rose 1.1 percent after proposing raising its cash dividend to 1 riyal per share for 2017 from 0.75 riyal for 2016.

Mediterranean & Gulf Cooperative Insurance and Reinsurance jumped 6.1 percent after its board proposed doubling its capital to 800 million riyals ($213 million) through an equity rights issue.

The stock had shed as much as 34 percent between late January and Tuesday after the central bank prohibited the company from issuing or renewing any insurance policy pending a capital increase, and after the securities regulator said it might suspend or cancel trading in the shares.

Dubai’s index slipped 0.2 percent although Emaar Properties added 0.8 percent, moving further from a 14-month intra-day low hit on Tuesday.

Abu Dhabi’s index edged up 0.1 percent as energy investment firm Abu Dhabi National Energy Co jumped 7.4 percent. The company reported a swing to an annual net profit of 171 million dirhams ($46.6 million) from a loss of 18.55 billion in 2016 that was due to an impairment charge.

In Qatar, the index rose 0.3 percent as real estate firm United Development gained 3.9 percent after reporting a 14 percent fall in annual net profit, in line with its first-half rate of decline despite a further weakening of the local property market in the second half. (Reporting by Andrew Torchia; editing by Jason Neely)

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