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UPDATE 2-MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi Arabia slips; Egypt resumes rally
February 2, 2015 / 9:23 AM / 3 years ago

UPDATE 2-MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi Arabia slips; Egypt resumes rally

(Updates with Saudi Arabia, Egypt open)

DUBAI, Feb 2 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia’s bourse inched down in early trade on Monday after oil prices pulled back and local companies started announcing bonus payouts to employees, while Egypt’s market was positive.

Brent crude traded below $52 per barrel after U.S. unions called a refinery strike and Chinese manufacturing data indicated a slowdown.

The main Saudi index slipped 0.1 percent after jumping 3.0 percent in the previous session.

Shares in Saudi Electricity Co and Saudi Telecom Co fell 0.3 and 0.8 percent respectively after the firms said they would pay out hundreds of millions of dollars in bonuses, following last Thursday’s order by the new king that Saudi state employees would receive two months of extra salary.

However Southern Province Cement, which made a similar announcement, added 0.5 percent.

Retailer Fawaz Alhokair which is set to benefit as consumers spend that extra cash, was the main support for the market, surging 6.0 percent.

Egypt’s stock market edged up 0.7 percent on the back of Commercial International Bank, which rose 1.7 percent.

Ezz Steel added 0.8 percent, even though its subsidiary Al Ezz Dekheila reported a nine-month loss on Sunday; the result had been expected after power disruptions last year caused by energy shortages. (Reporting by Olzhas Auyezov; Editing by Andrew Torchia)

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