* Local institutions shore up prices in Saudi market
* Blue-chip SABIC up 1.7 percent
* Dubai gains 0.6 percent
* TAQA soars in Abu Dhabi
By Davide Barbuscia
DUBAI, Sept 9 (Reuters) - Gulf stock markets closed on a positive note on Sunday, reversing some of their losses earlier in the day.
The Saudi index in particular ended up gaining 0.6 percent, after having plunged last week on foreign investors’ concerns over emerging markets volatility.
The country’s main stock index fell below major technical support for the first time this year last week.
Sunday’s pick up was mostly due to local institutions, rather than local retail investors or foreign buyers, said Talal Samhouri, head of asset management at investment company Amwal.
“Local institutions are trying to shore up prices given last week’s decline,” he said.
Gains were across the board, with Dar Al Arkan Real Estate Development Co registering the highest trading volume and gaining 0.3 percent, followed by Alina Bank, up 0.6 percent.
Blue-chip Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) climbed 1.7 percent, following a steadying in oil prices at the end of last week, when Brent crude futures settled up 33 cents at $76.83 a barrel.
Shares in Saudi Arabia’s Nada Chemicals dropped 0.5 percent after the company said it would halt production at some of its units for periods of about seven or 15 days for scheduled maintenance.
Most other markets closed in positive territory.
The Dubai index gained 0.6 percent, with Islamic Arab Insurance Co among the best performing stocks, up 4.4 percent.
The company surged 10 percent last week after direct deals or block trades were executed on the stock on 370.7 million worth of shares at 0.42 dirhams.
In Abu Dhabi, the recent announcement of a potential three-way merger between Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, Union National Bank and the unlisted Al Hilal Bank continued to act as a catalyst for investors.
The exchange, which closed flat on Sunday, saw Abu Dhabi National Energy Co (TAQA) jump 6.2 percent, followed by another blue-chip, Aldar Properties, which gained 2.6 percent.
* The index closed up 0.5 percent to 7,729 points.
* The index rose 0.6 percent to 2,843 points.
* The index was flat at 4,918 points.
* The index shed 0.6 percent to 9,770 points.
* The index gained 0.4 percent to 5,325 points.
* The index climbed 0.3 percent to 1,344 points.
* The index increased 0.5 percent to 4,454 points.
* The index shed 0.4 percent to 15,750 points.
Editing by David Evans