DUBAI- Major Middle Eastern stock markets mostly fell on Thursday after oil prices slipped more than two percent overnight and global bourses dropped, although buying by local institutions helped Qatar rebound slightly from its steep fall on Wednesday.
The Qatari index , which had plunged 3.1 percent on Wednesday as several stocks went ex-dividend, recovered 0.9 percent. Exchange data showed foreigners were net sellers by a ratio of three to two.
The ex-dividend stocks which led Wednesday's plunge were mixed. Barwa Real Estate rose 0.9 percent but Islamic bank Masraf Al Rayan edged down 0.1 percent and Al Khaliji Bank was up 0.3 percent.
Saudi Arabia's index fell 0.1 percent as nine of 12 banks dropped. The sector was soft throughout this week, partly because of concern about the government imposing retroactive Islamic tax liabilities on banks.
Al Rajhi Bank 1120.SE , a major target of foreign funds flowing into Saudi Arabia over the last couple of months, rebounded 1.1 percent, however.
National Shipping Co of Saudi Arabia (Bahri) gained 2.7 percent after reporting a 53 percent decline in annual net profit. In the first nine months, profit shrank 58 percent.
Dubai's index fell 1.1 percent to a 15-month low, with Dubai Islamic Bank tumbling 7.6 percent as it went ex-dividend. But DAMAC Properties, which had lost 5.7 percent on Wednesday to touch its lowest level since June 2017, rebounded 1.3 percent.
The Abu Dhabi index .ADI edged down 0.1 percent. Food company Agthia slipped as much as three percent during the day after the board cut its recommended annual cash dividend to 12.5 percent from 15 percent in the previous year, but the stock closed flat.
Egypt's index .EGX30 slipped 0.2 percent but real estate developer SODIC gained 3.7 percent after reporting a 36 percent jump in annual, consolidated net profit.
* Index edged down 0.1 percent to 7,411 points.
* Index fell 1.1 percent to 3,209 points.
* Index edged down 0.1 percent to 4,595 points.
* The index rose 0.9 percent to 8,730 points.
* Index slipped 0.2 percent to 15,446 points.
* Index gained 0.5 percent to 6,808 points.
* Index rose 0.3 percent to 1,373 points.
* Index added 0.2 percent to 5,012 points.
(Editing by William Maclean) ((firstname.lastname@example.org)(+9715 6681 7277)(Reuters Messaging: email@example.com))