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Stock News: Gulf Markets Mixed, Saudi Petchems Rise As Oil Edges Up

Stock News: Gulf Markets Mixed, Saudi Petchems Rise As Oil Edges Up

Dubai’s index fell 0.7 per cent after jumping 2.6 percent on Sunday.

Gulf stock markets were mixed in early trade on Monday after gaining strongly in the two previous sessions on the back of Saudi Arabia’s 2015 budget, which maintained government spending at a high level.

Brent crude edged up early on Monday because of supply disruptions in Libya and traded just above $60.00 per barrel.

Although confidence in heavy state spending has made Gulf equities less exposed to moves in oil over the past week, the oil price remains important for the petrochemicals sector, whose products are often priced in relation to crude.

Saudi Arabia’s main index climbed 0.6 per cent as some petrochemical stocks posted strong gains. PetroRabigh surged 9.4 per cent, Saudi Kayan Petrochemical jumped 2.8 per cent and Saudi Basic Industries was up 0.5 per cent.

Meanwhile, shares in Almarai dropped 2.0 per cent after it said on Sunday its board recommended a cash dividend of SAR1 per share for 2014.

Almarai, the largest dairy firm in the Gulf, paid the same amount in 2013 and some market players had expected a higher 2014 dividend as net profit is forecast to rise 13 per cent, according to a Thomson Reuters average of analysts’ predictions.

Dubai’s index fell 0.7 per cent after jumping 2.6 percent on Sunday. Developer Emaar Properties pulled back 0.6 per cent and builder Arabtec, which was the most traded stock, fell 1.2 per cent.

Shares in retail start-up Marka fell 2.9 per cent, having surged 12.0 per cent in the previous session on news of an acquisition that would make the company profitable on an operating basis in 2015.

Abu Dhabi’s index edged down 0.7 per cent with most blue chips in the red.

Qatar’s benchmark rose 1.1 per cent. Shares in drilling rig provider Gulf International Services surged their daily 10 per cent limit after the company’s shareholders approved a series of amendments to its articles of association to streamline corporate governance.

Egypt’s bourse added 0.8 per cent as most stocks gained. Commercial International Bank and developer Talaat Moustafa Group were the main supports, gaining 2.0 and 0.8 per cent respectively.

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