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|10 March, 2019

Mideast Stocks: Gulf stocks hit by global market weakness, IPOs boost Egypt

Abu Dhabi stocks hurt by selling in banks

Investors look at electronic display boards on the trading floor at the Dubai International Financial Market March. Image for illustrative purposes.

Investors look at electronic display boards on the trading floor at the Dubai International Financial Market March. Image for illustrative purposes.

REUTERS/Mohammed Salem

DUBAI: Gulf markets ended lower on Sunday, weighed down by weak global markets and a drop in oil price, but Egyptian stocks defied the trend, gaining on the back of positive momentum generated by the initial public offering of a state-owned company.

Abu Dhabi's stock index lost 0.9 percent, hurt mainly by First Abu Dhabi Bank, which was down 1.6 percent, while other banks were also lower.

FAB's shares were hit partly by technical factors, as the stock fell through its fifty-day moving average on Thursday and also below its 100 day moving average, an analyst said.

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The Abu Dhabi index has had a weak March, falling 5.2 percent since the start of the month.

Dubai's stock exchange was down 0.6 percent , weighed down by Emaar Properties, which was down 0.8 percent and Dubai Islamic Bank, down 0.8 percent.

"Dubai is basically just giving up the funny little rally it had in the second half of February," the analyst said. "The rally was triggered by Aldar's ALDR.AD super-duper dividend, and everyone got excited and (then) everyone realised there wasn't a reason to get excited."

Egypt's stock index .EGX30 was the only gainer on Sunday, up 0.5 percent.

This was due to the initial public offering of state-owned cigarette maker Eastern Company  last week, as well as another upcoming IPO, Karim Abdelaziz, general manager of brokerage Miracle for Securities Transactions, said. 

Saudi Arabia's main index was down 0.2 percent, hit by a weak performance among banking stocks. Banque Saudi Fransi was down 1.4 percent, while Samba Financial Group1090.SE was down 0.7 percent.

Banks had gained in early trading after Saudi authorities said on Friday they had no current plans to increase Islamic tax levels on the private sector. 

The Saudi market is anticipating the Tadawul exchange's impending entry into the FTSE Russell emerging market index next week, which could bring billions of dollars of fund inflows. 

Qatar's index lost 0.1 percent, trading at its lowest in more than five months, weighed down by Qatar National Bank, and Qatar International Islamic Bank, which were down 0.7 percent and 2.5 percent respectively.

Qatar was one of 2018's best-performing markets globally, with stocks gaining 21 percent, helped by a lifting of limits on foreign ownership of shares. But it has lost 5.2 percent this year.

"Qatar was overdue for a small correction that would let the valuation catch up with the price. And that decline is healthy," said Talal Samhouri, head of asset management at Amwal LLC.

SAUDI ARABIA The index slipped 0.2 pct to 8,466 points

DUBAI The index was down 0.6 pct at 2,578 points

QATAR The index fell 0.12 pct to 9,769 points

ABU DHABI The index lost 0.9 pct to 4,872 points

EGYPT The index was up 0.5 pct at 14,979 points

KUWAIT The index was down 0.4 pct at 5,577 points

OMAN The index lost 0.6 pct to 4,090 points

BAHRAIN The index dropped 0.2 pct to 1,406 points

(Reporting by Nafisa Eltahir. Editing by Jane Merriman) ((Nafisa.Eltahir@thomsonreuters.com;))

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