Gulf bourses in mixed fortunes during early trade

Stock markets in the Gulf trod separate paths on Monday, with Saudi Arabia’s market lagging while the two main markets in the UAE held on to small gains.

Riyadh’s index was down 1.2 per cent after an hour of trade amid a sell-off in petrochemical shares after oil prices weakened.

Brent oil was down 0.9 per cent at US$48.25 a barrel; mid-sized petrochemical producers were hit hardest, with Saudi Kayan dropping 3.0 per cent.

Retail industry shares, which had been rebounding in recent days, also fell back; Fawaz Alhokair shed 0.9 per cent.

Qatar’s index edged down 0.2 per cent with Islamic lender Masraf Al Rayan and oil drilling rig provider Gulf International Services falling 0.5 and 0.8 per cent respectively.

In the United Arab Emirates, however, investors bought shares which had dipped over the past week.

Dubai’s index added 0.6 per cent with most trade concentrated in small and mid-cap shares; builder Drake & Scull and amusement park developer Dubai Parks and Resorts were each up more than 1.5 per cent.

Abu Dhabi’s largest listed stock, Etisalat, rebounded more than one per cent from Sunday’s loss and Dana Gas added 1.9 per cent. This helped the main Abu Dhabi index edge up 0.3 per cent.

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