August 29, 2018 / 7:59 AM / 23 days ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Qatar slips on profit-taking in banks, Saudi snaps winning streak

DUBAI, Aug 29 (Reuters) - Qatar’s stock market fell on Wednesday as investors took profits in banks, while the Saudi market eased in early trading after three days of gains.

The Qatar index was down 0.5 percent, with Qatar National Bank falling 2.3 percent, Masraf Al Rayan declining 1.1 percent and Qatar Islamic Bank dropping nearly 1 percent.

QNB had been a major gainer in the previous two sessions after investors sought bargains in the aftermath of its recent sell-off on concerns about its exposure to Turkey.

Saudi Arabia’s main index fell 0.1 percent, breaking a three day winning streak, dragged down by financials.

National Commercial Bank, the kingdom’s largest bank by assets, fell 0.7 percent, and Arab National Bank dropped 1.5 percent.

State-run Saudi Telecom also fell 0.7 percent after rising sharply a day earlier.

Saudi Steel Pipes Co surged 3.9 percent as the company announced that talks between an unidentified strategic investor to buy between a 45 percent and 49 percent stake in the company from existing shareholders had been extended by a month.

The Dubai index was mostly flat, with Emaar Malls down almost 1 percent.

The Abu Dhabi index rose 0.2 percent, lifted by real estate and financials, despite ADNOC Distribution falling 1.63 percent and Dana Gas declining 0.9 percent.

Aldar Properties extended its gains in early trade and was up 1 percent. (Reporting by Tuqa Khalid; Editing by Saeed Azhar and Mark Potter)

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