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|10 January, 2019

Mideast Stocks: Saudi stocks continue to gain, rest of Gulf falls

Saudi's main index rose 0.4%, with petrochemical company Saudi Basic Industries adding 0.5% and Saudi British Bank rising 2.3%

A Saudi trader observes the stock market on monitors at Falcom stock exchange agency in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia February 7, 2018.

A Saudi trader observes the stock market on monitors at Falcom stock exchange agency in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia February 7, 2018.

REUTERS/Faisal Al Nasser

Saudi Arabia's stock market was the sole gainer in early trading on Thursday, with most major Gulf bourses sliding before corporate earnings announcements next week.

Saudi's main index rose 0.4 percent, with petrochemical company Saudi Basic Industries adding 0.5 percent and Saudi British Bank  rising 2.3 percent.

Contractor Al Khodari rose 4.2 percent in heavy trade after its board proposed to use its statutory reserve of 71 million riyals ($18.93 million) to reduce a part of its losses. The proposal seeks to cut accumulated losses to 202 million riyals from 273 million riyals.

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The Dubai index fell 0.5 percent, weighed down by its real estate stocks. Emaar Properties lost 1 percent and Damac Properties  decreased 0.7 percent.

Dubai's property stocks contributed to the index's poor performance last year. In 2018, the index fell over 25 percent to become the world's worst-performing major stocks market in local currency terms.

Abu Dhabi's index edged down 0.2 percent, led by a 0.3 percent decline in First Abu Dhabi Bank, the largest bank in the United Arab Emirates.

Growth in the UAE's non-oil private sector fell in December to its slowest rate since October 2016, a survey showed on Thursday.

The seasonally adjusted Emirates NBD UAE Purchasing Managers' Index, which covers manufacturing and services, dropped to 54.0 in December from 55.8 in November.

Qatar's index also lost 0.2 percent, pulled down by its financial stocks. Qatar National Bank declined 1 percent. The company is raising a 2 billion-euro ($2.31 billion)syndicated loan, according to LPC, a fixed-income news service that is part of Refinitiv.

Qatar Islamic Bank fell 0.3 percent and Commercial Bank shed 0.7 percent.

($1 = 0.8660 euros)

($1 = 3.7508 riyals)

(Reporting by Abinaya Vijayaraghavan in Bengaluru, editing by Larry King) ((abinaya.vijayaraghavan@thomsonreuters.com; within U.S.+1 646 223 8780; outside U.S. +91 80 6749 2733; Reuters Messaging: abinaya.vijayaraghavan.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

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