April 4, 2018 / 8:17 AM / 21 days ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi rises in early trade, other markets move little

DUBAI, April 4 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia’s stock market rose in early trade on Wednesday as money flowed back into blue chips favoured by foreign investors after several days of profit-taking, while other markets in the region were mixed in narrow ranges.

The Saudi index was up 0.5 percent after an hour, with Saudi Basic Industries up by the same margin, PetroRabigh gaining 1.2 percent and Al Rajhi Bank SE> 1.0 percent higher.

Loss-making Saudi Arabian home furnishings maker Al Sorayai Trading surged 4.6 percent, rising in unusually heavy trade for a fourth straight day; the company said chief executive Waiel bin Saad al-Rashid resigned immediately for personal reasons, and a replacement would be announced later.

The Qatari index was marginally lower, dragged down by the banking sector: Masraf al Rayan, Qatar’s biggest Islamic bank, was down 0.7 percent although the largest conventional bank, Qatar National Bank, edged up 0.4 percent.

Dubai’s index was flat but Emaar Properties rebounded 0.9 percent after falling to a two-year low on Tuesday on concern about the sluggish outlook for the local real estate market.

In Kuwait, the market has been soft since authorities divided it into three on Sunday as part of reforms designed to boost liquidity and attract more foreign money: the premier market, the main market and the auction market. The changes temporarily unsettled some investors and disrupted normal trading patterns, some fund managers said.

The index for the premier market, home to the largest and most liquid companies, fell for the fourth straight session and was down 0.5 percent. (Reporting by Aziz El Yaakoubi; editing by Andrew Torchia)

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