(Updates with Saudi, Egypt markets open)
DUBAI, Feb 12 (Reuters) - Second-tier stocks boosted Saudi Arabia’s bourse in early trade on Thursday as oil prices rebounded from an overnight tumble, while Egypt’s stock index continued to pull back after breaking technical support.
Brent oil slid about 3 percent to below $54 a barrel on Wednesday but by the time the Saudi market opened on Thursday it had recovered to nearly $56, heartening investors who have been taking the oil price as their main cue in recent months.
The Saudi stock index rose 0.8 percent soon after the opening with Middle East Specialized Cables, which had plunged in the previous three days, climbing 1.9 percent in heavy trade.
Tabuk Agricultural Development gained 2.0 percent, and Axa Cooperative Insurance soared 8.6 percent.
Among blue chips, Saudi Electricity Co rose 1.5 percent. It has gained sharply in the last few days after Saudi Arabia’s central bank governor called for reforms to the country’s lavish system of energy and water subsidies - higher electricity tariffs could benefit the company’s bottom line, though the governor gave no indication that the government actually planned concrete action.
Meanwhile, Egypt’s index fell 1.1 percent to 9,660 points, after dropping on Wednesday below technical support on the early February low at 9,780, indicating a short-term pull-back from near multi-year highs.
Major property firm Talaat Moustafa slipped 1.2 percent, after a string of announcements in recent days on a board member or members selling shares near the stock’s recent highs. (Reporting by Andrew Torchia)