December 21, 2017 / 2:10 PM / a year ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Qatar resumes rally, most of Gulf little changed

* Qatar recovering from near six-year lows

* Impact of economic boycott less than some had feared

* Positive news in Saudi 2018 budget priced in

* PetroRabigh surges on news expansion of complex to open

* Khaleeji Commercial Bank continues post-listing surge in Dubai

By Andrew Torchia

DUBAI, Dec 21 (Reuters) - Qatar’s stock market resumed a rally from near six-year lows on Thursday while most bourses in the Gulf were little changed, lacking fresh stimulus.

The Qatari index added 1.2 percent as Vodafone Qatar, the most heavily traded stock, rose 2.6 percent. Qatar Islamic Bank gained 3.1 percent in active trade.

The index fell sharply in the months to mid-December after four other Arab states imposed an economic boycott on Doha. But signs that the damage is less than some investors had feared, and a supportive 2018 state budget plan announced last week, are now helping the market recover.

Qatari central bank data released on Thursday showed an outflow of foreign deposits from Qatari banks, one result of the boycott, slowing further in November as the four states ran out of remaining money to withdraw.

Saudi Arabia’s index was almost flat. It had risen in anticipation of this week’s expansionary state budget for 2018 but has stalled since then, with the good news in the budget largely priced in.

But PetroRabigh jumped 6.6 percent in its heaviest trade since May after Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said the expanded section of its petrochemical complex would start operations in the first quarter of 2018.

Dubai’s index edged down 0.1 percent with the most active stock, Union Properties, gaining 1.4 percent.

Bahrain’s Khaleeji Commercial Bank, which listed in Dubai on Tuesday, continued rising sharply, jumping 15 percent in very thin trade to 1.47 dirhams. Its shares in Bahrain rose 8.6 percent to 0.127 dinar, equivalent to 1.24 dirhams.


* The index edged down 0.04 percent to 7,210 points.


* The index edged down 0.1 percent to 3,365 points.


* The index fell 0.2 percent to 4,349 points.


* The index climbed 1.2 percent to 8,621 points.


* The index edged down 0.1 percent to 14,669 points.


* The index rose 0.5 percent to 6,414 points.


* The index gained 1.2 percent to 1,281 points.


* The index edged down 0.1 percent to 5,063 points. (Editing by William Maclean)

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