August 9, 2018 / 7:43 AM / 4 months ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Property pulls back UAE; Saudi stocks fall on oil volatility

DUBAI, Aug 9 (Reuters) - Weakness in property shares weighed on the Abu Dhabi and Dubai markets on Thursday in fallout from an earnings miss by Aldar Properties, while oil price volatility hurt Saudi stocks.

Abu Dhabi stocks pulled back from a near four-year high and were down 0.7 percent in early trade. Aldar Properties dropped 2 percent.

Abu Dhabi’s largest property developer on Tuesday missed estimates with a 28 percent fall in second-quarter profit, which it blamed on a revaluation of properties related to its retail portfolio.

First Abu Dhabi Bank was down 1.1 percent. FAB shares have gained 39 percent this year, fuelled by strong earnings and a move to expand in the Saudi market.

Property and financial stocks were weak in neighbouring Dubai, which dropped 0.8 percent in early trading. Emaar Properties fell almost 1 percent and lender Emirates NBD declined 2.9 percent.

Contractor Arabtec was flat, after opening higher as it reported a 24 percent jump in quarterly profit.

Saudi stocks were down 0.2 percent, as sharp swings in oil prices hit sentiment.

Brent crude futures were up 0.4 percent at $72.58 barrel by 0417 GMT. On Wednesday they had declined by more than 3 percent on concerns about developments in the trade dispute between the United States and China.

Petrochemicals giant Saudi Basic Industries Corp was trading 0.2 percent lower and refining firm Petro Rabigh fell 0.8 percent.

Industries Qatar was the main drag on the Qatari index, which fell almost 0.5 percent. Its shares were down 2.4 percent after it reported a rise in first half profits. QNB Financial Services said in a report the result was in line with its forecast.

Industries Qatar has been one of the biggest beneficiaries of fund inflows this year after it raised the limit for foreign ownership. The stock is up 27 percent so far this year.

$1 = 3.6728 UAE dirham Reporting by Saeed Azhar; editing by John Stonestreet

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