|20 May, 2019

Mideast Stocks: Property props up Dubai; major Gulf markets mixed

The Dubai index edged 0.6% higher, supported by its real estate stocks

Dubai's stock market opened higher on Monday, bolstered by its property shares, while major Gulf markets moved sideways.

The Dubai index edged 0.6% higher, supported by its real estate stocks. Deyaar Development rose 2.5% while Union Properties  gained 2.7%.

The index has risen only 0.3% this year, while it has lost 7.7% since the beginning of May amid low trading during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan and as geopolitical tensions rise.

U.S. President Donald Trump issued a new threat to Tehran, tweeting that a conflict would be the "official end" of Iran. This follows last week's drone strikes on oil facilities in Saudi Arabia and the sabotage of oil tankers off the coast of the United Arab Emirates.

Islamic Arab Insurance and Shuaa Capital added 3% and 2.1%, respectively. The latter confirmed it is progressing with a potential deal with Abu Dhabi Financial Group. DXB Entertainments  rose 4.7% and was the biggest gainer on the index. Shares of the amusement park operator have fallen 21.8% year-to-date.

Qatar's blue-chip index  gained 0.5 percent with heavyweights Gulf International Services and Mesaieed Petrochemical Holding Co  rising 10% and 7.1%, receptively.

Abu Dhabi's index slipped 0.4%, with Axa Green Crescent Insurance Co shedding 10% and Gulf Medical Projects Co dipping 3.3%. The latter posted a 28.3% fall in its net profit for the first quarter.

Saudi's index slipped 0.1%. Market heavyweights Saudi Industrial Investment Group and Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) dipped 2.1% and 0.4%, respectively.

(Reporting by Karina Dsouza in Bengaluru; Editing by Catherine Evans) ((Karina.Dsouza@thomsonreuters.com; within U.S. +1 646 223 8780, outside U.S. +91 80 6749 6373; Reuters Messaging: Reuters Messaging: karina.dsouza@thomsonreuters.com))

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