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MIDEAST STOCKS-Weak oil, Asian bourses set to dampen Gulf
February 12, 2015 / 5:27 AM / 3 years ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Weak oil, Asian bourses set to dampen Gulf

DUBAI, Feb 12 (Reuters) - Drops in the oil price and Asian bourses look set to push down Gulf stock markets on Thursday, as investors continue to take profits from the gains of the last several weeks.

Brent oil is back below $55 per barrel after a 3 percent loss on Wednesday. Meanwhile, Asian equities are lower because of concern over the Greek debt negotiations.

Most Gulf bourses had already started pulling back in the last couple of days from strong gains since mid-January. The Saudi index, which last closed at 9,134 points, has immediate technical support at 9,073 points, the Feb. 5 intraday low; any break would trigger a minor double top formed by the recent highs and pointing down to the 8,700-point area.

Shares in Abu Dhabi’s Aldar Properties however, are likely to gain after the developer posted an estimate-beating 61 percent rise in fourth-quarter net profit. It also proposed a dividend of 0.09 dirhams per share for 2014, up from 0.07 dirhams for 2013.

Dubai-listed Air Arabia may also be in favour with its board meeting to be held after trading hours to approve earnings that could benefit from lower oil prices.

Three analysts forecast the budget carrier to post an average profit of 96.4 million dirhams for the fourth quarter.

Egypt’s market also looks technically weak for the short term despite a string of encouraging economic news this week, including a positive report by the International Monetary Fund, which said structural and monetary reforms were starting to produce a turnaround in the economy.

The Cairo index closed Wednesday at 9,771 points, below technical support on the early February low at 9,780.

Emaar Misr, the Egyptian arm of Dubai’s largest listed real estate developer, plans to float its shares on the stock market, although the listing is worth less than half the value that sources said it had expected to raise last month.

The Egyptian unit of Emaar Properties will issue approximately 87 million shares, worth 878 million Egyptian pounds ($115.2 million), the stock exchange statement said. (Reporting by Andrew Torchia; Editing by David French)

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