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| 06 December, 2017

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf falls on weak foreign bourses, geopolitics

A broker looks at the electronic display boards in the Dubai Financial Market.

A broker looks at the electronic display boards in the Dubai Financial Market.

REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah

Most Gulf stock markets fell in early trade on Wednesday because of sliding foreign bourses

DUBAI - Most Gulf stock markets fell in early trade on Wednesday because of sliding foreign bourses, with MSCI's index of Asia-Pacific shares ex-Japan down 1.4 percent, and because of negative geopolitical news related to Qatar and Yemen.

Qatar was the hardest hit major market with its index dropping 1.9 percent. Drilling rig provider Gulf International Services tumbled 5.7 percent.

The market surged early this week on hopes for progress in resolving Qatar's diplomatic dispute with four other Arab states. But those hopes were dashed when Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, in an apparent snub of Qatar, did not send their heads of state to this week's regional summit in Kuwait. 

Dubai's index edged down 0.1 percent. Builder Drake & Scull, which has been restructuring its business, rocketed 7.0 percent in heavy trade; after it reported a big loss for the third quarter, some investors are betting there is little bad news left for its fourth-quarter results.

But Emaar Properties slipped 0.3 percent and affiliate Emaar Development fell 0.5 percent, heading for its lowest close since it listed on Nov. 22.

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Saudi Arabia's index dropped 0.3 percent as declining stocks outnumbered gainers by a ratio of about three to two.

The market rose early this week after Yemen's ex-president Ali Abdullah Saleh offered to support the Saudi-led coalition's military intervention there, but Saleh's subsequent assassination ended that optimism.

Saudi Industrial Export Co jumped 5.8 percent in unusually heavy trade after the market regulator approved its request to reduce its capital to 10.8 million riyals ($2.9 million) from 108 million riyals.

(Reporting by Andrew Torchia; Editing by Catherine Evans) ((aziz.elyaakoubi@thomsonreuters.com; +971552994086))