October 8, 2018 / 8:05 AM / a month ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Most Gulf markets move sideways, Dubai's Drake and Scull falls

Oct 8 (Reuters) - Most major Middle Eastern stock markets opened little changed on Monday, while Dubai’s Drake and Scull erased earlier gains to fall in heavy trade, despite approval from a majority of its shareholders to continue business at a general assembly last Thursday.

The Saudi Arabian index shed 0.2 percent in the first half hour of trading, pressured by its banks and petrochemical stocks. Saudi Basic Industries dipped 0.5 percent.

Etihad Etisalat fell 2.8 percent after it said Saudi’s Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) would suspend some of its services. CITC’s decision includes the suspension of sales for prepaid and postpaid mobile services packages to new customers. The company also said it could not determine the impact of the decision at this stage.

In Dubai, the index inched up, helped by financial stocks. Dubai Islamic Bank was up 0.2 percent, while construction firm Drake and Scull dropped 2.9 percent in heavy trade.

The Qatar index edged up 0.3 percent, with Qatar Gas Transport Co up 0.4 percent.

Abu Dhabi’s index was flat but was inching up on the back of its consumer and bank stocks. Agthia Group jumped 12.1 percent in light trading.

Reporting by Abinaya Vijayaraghavan in Bengaluru, editing by Larry King

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