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Stock News: Most Gulf Markets Fall; Blue Chips Lift Saudi

Stock News: Most Gulf Markets Fall; Blue Chips Lift Saudi

Brent hit a high of $71.46 a barrel on Wednesday before giving up some gains and moving close to $71.

Most Middle East bourses slipped in early trade on Wednesday as oil market turbulence kept equity investors cautious, although blue chips lifted Saudi Arabia’s index.

Brent hit a high of $71.46 a barrel on Wednesday before giving up some gains and moving close to $71.

Saudi Arabia’s index rose 0.2 per cent. Petrochemicals giant Saudi Basic Industries (SABIC) and Al Rajhi Bank were the main supports, climbing 1.2 and one per cent respectively.

SABIC, now at SAR90.50, hit a two-year low of SAR89 on Sunday and has since been recovering slowly. EFG Hermes in a report last month maintained a “buy” recommendation on the stock but cut its fair falue estimate to SAR125 from SAR145.

Telecoms were the main drag on the index as Etihad Etisalat (Mobily) tumbled 7.7 per cent and dominated trading volumes. Rival Zain Saudi dropped 5.2 per cent to a record low of SAR7.00.

Both stocks were suspended for Tuesday trading after Mobily, the Kingdom’s second-biggest mobile operator, said it was seeking arbitration to obtain SAR2.2 billion ($586.28 million) owed by Zain Saudi, a claim its smaller competitor subsequently said was unfounded.

Elsewhere in the region, Qatar’s index dropped 2.2 per cent with all stocks in the red, Kuwait edged down 0.4 per cent and Oman’s bourse slipped 0.1 per cent.

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