February 12, 2018 / 5:28 AM / a year ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Region may firm marginally as global bourses regain some strength

DUBAI, Feb 12 (Reuters) - Middle Eastern stock markets may be marginally firm on Monday because of a modest recovery of global equities and oil prices after last week’s tumble, but continued uncertainty over the health of markets is expected to keep any rebound small.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan is up 1.0 percent and E-Mini futures for the S&P 500 are up 0.6 percent, suggesting Wall Street may open slightly higher. Brent oil is up 47 cents to $63.26 a barrel, after losing nearly 9 percent last week.

Saudi Arabia’s largest food products company, Savola Group , reported a fourth-quarter loss of 37.5 million riyals ($10 million), much lower than a year-earlier loss of 915.7 million riyals; it cited higher profit margins and lower impairment losses.

But the results far underperformed the forecast of NCB Capital, which had predicted a quarterly net profit of 144 million riyals.

Similarly, Dubai’s Air Arabia swung to a fourth-quarter profit of 26 million dirhams ($7.1 million) from a loss of 33 million dirhams. But SICO Bahrain had forecast a much higher profit of 68 million dirhams. (Reporting by Andrew Torchia)

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