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| 05 July, 2018

MIDEAST STOCKS-Dubai index edges up on blue chips, Saudi index slips

Gains in shares of blue-chip property and contracting firms lifted Dubai stocks in early trade on Thursday, while Saudi stocks slipped and other Gulf markets were mixed

A screen showing U.S. President-elect Donald Trump is seen as a man walks at Dubai Financial Market, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, November 9, 2016.

A screen showing U.S. President-elect Donald Trump is seen as a man walks at Dubai Financial Market, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, November 9, 2016.

REUTERS/Stringer

DUBAI  - Gains in shares of blue-chip property and contracting firms lifted Dubai stocks in early trade on Thursday, while Saudi stocks slipped and other Gulf markets were mixed.

Oil prices fell on Thursday after U.S. President Donald Trump sent a strident tweet demanding that OPEC cut prices for crude, compounding jitters in global financial markets before a U.S. deadline to impose tariffs on Chinese imports. 

Dubai index was up 0.3 percent in early trade, with Emaar Properties trading 1.4 percent higher and DAMAC Properties up 1.9 percent.

Contractor Drake & Scull International, one of the worst-performing stocks on the Dubai index, also gained 1.2 percent after tapping its CFO for a new "chief restructuring officer" role. 

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DSI has been lagging as a result of concerns about its financial position, business outlook and the outcome of a probe into "violations" by previous management. Its shares sank 9.9 percent on Tuesday. 

Banks led losses in Saudi Arabia, where the market was down 0.5 percent. National Commercial Bank (NCB), al-Rajhi Bank and Arab National Bank dropped 1.2 percent, 0.4 percent and 1.4 percent, respectively.

Abu Dhabi's index opened down 0.2 percent and the Qatar indexwas also down 0.1 percent.

Bahrain's index rose 0.6 percent and Kuwait's blue-chip index was up 1.1 percent.

(Reporting by Katie Paul Editing by Alison Williams) ((Katie.Paul@thomsonreuters.com))