|25 January, 2017

Saudi and Kuwait continue uptrends, UAE pulls back

ome regional money moving from UAE to Saudi, Kuwait.

A screen displaying stock market prices is seen at an investment bank in Riyadh in this file photo taken June 9, 2013.

A screen displaying stock market prices is seen at an investment bank in Riyadh in this file photo taken June 9, 2013.

REUTERS/Faisal Al Nasser/Files


By Andrew Torchia

DUBAI, Jan 25 (Reuters) - Stock markets in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait continued uptrends on Wednesday, attracting regional investors' money away from the United Arab Emirates, which pulled back.

The Saudi index rose 0.5 percent, climbing for a fifth straight day. It has been buoyed by hopes for better conditions in the non-oil sector this year as government austerity measures slow.

Builder Khodari , which has been strong in the past week on expectations for a partial recovery of the Saudi construction market, gained 2.6 percent.

Mouwasat Medical Services , which jumped 3.5 percent on Tuesday after its board recommended a higher cash dividend for 2016, added a further 3.7 percent to 147.50 riyals. HSBC raised its target for the stock to 152 riyals from 144, with a "buy" rating.

The petrochemical sector was firm with industry leader Saudi Basic Industries climbing 1.6 percent.

Kuwait's index , which has surged nearly 19 percent this month as idle local and regional funds have poured into the market to catch its momentum, rose 1.1 percent in heavy trade.

Activity focused on real estate companies; Abyaar Real Estate jumped 6.9 percent.

The fireworks in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait left Dubai and Abu Dhabi neglected. Dubai's index slipped 1.1 percent to 3,679 points, failing a test of technical resistance on its January peak of 3,737 points. Abu Dhabi sank 1.6 percent.

Real estate firm Deyaar dropped 5.0 percent after its fourth-quarter profit more than halved. Builder Drake & Scull was another big loser, falling 4.9 percent in volatile trade.

The most heavily traded Dubai stock, speculative favourite GFH Financial , plunged 9.7 percent to 2.43 dirhams after opening sharply higher. The company's Bahrain-listed shares soared 9.5 percent to $0.695, however, moving to a slight premium to the Dubai-listed shares from a sizeable discount.

Dubai Islamic Bank added 0.5 percent after posting a 58.4 percent increase in fourth-quarter net profit to 1.37 billion dirhams ($373 million), well above analysts' average forecast of 850.4 million dirhams.

In Qatar, the index fell 0.2 percent as Qatar Insurance lost 1.8 percent after reporting a 9 percent fall in fourth-quarter net profit.

Egypt's market was closed for a national holiday.



WEDNESDAY'S HIGHLIGHTS



SAUDI ARABIA



* The index rose 0.5 percent to 7,128 points.



DUBAI



* The index fell 1.1 percent to 3,679 points.



ABU DHABI



* The index dropped 1.6 percent to 4,607 points.



QATAR



* The index fell 0.2 percent to 11,036 points.



KUWAIT



* The index climbed 1.1 percent to 6,819 points.



OMAN



* The index edged down 0.03 percent to 5,765 points.



BAHRAIN



* The index surged 1.8 percent to 1,300 points. (Editing by Larry King) ((andrew.torchia@thomsonreuters.com)(+9715 6681 7277)(Reuters Messaging: andrew.torchia.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

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