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| 14 November, 2017

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf may have firm tone but loss could hit Dubai's Union Properties

Gulf equity markets may have a slightly firm tone on Tuesday as the impact of Saudi Arabia's anti-corruption probe eases

DUBAI - Gulf equity markets may have a slightly firm tone on Tuesday as the impact of Saudi Arabia's anti-corruption probe eases, although a loss posted by Dubai's Union Properties could pull that stock down.

In the last few days, most Gulf bourses have stabilised after initially falling in response to the Saudi probe; Dubai's index has risen for three straight days. That suggests a modest rebound is possible this week.

In Saudi Arabia, buying of stocks by state-linked funds has put a floor under the market and shares in companies linked to people detained in the probe, such as Al Tayyar Travel and Kingdom Holding, have stabilised or rebounded slightly.

However, given geopolitical tensions and the fact that the full scope and fallout of the anti-corruption crackdown is not yet known, markets may not stage any strong rises.

In Dubai, Union Properties posted a third-quarter loss attributable to shareholders of 45 million dirhams ($12.3 million) versus a year-earlier profit of 32.3 million dirhams, as total income during the quarter roughly halved. This followed the company's posting of a second-quarter net loss of 2.29 billion dirhams as it fixed accounting errors.

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In international markets, Brent crude has eased 8 U.S. cents to $63.08 a barrel while MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan is down 0.1 percent.

(Reporting by Andrew Torchia) ((andrew.torchia@thomsonreuters.com)(+9715 6681 7277)(Reuters Messaging: andrew.torchia.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))