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Gulf shares set to end week on soft note

Stock markets in the Gulf look set to end the week mostly lower on Thursday as global bourses fell and oil prices dropped further overnight.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan is down 0.5 percent, while Brent oil futures , which traded as high $50.76 a week ago, are down about 7 percent since then at $47.15.

Index compiler FTSE announced overnight a list of 22 Qatari companies that will join its secondary emerging market index at the opening on Sept. 20; these range from Aamal to Gulf International Services and Vodafone Qatar .

However, these stocks already rose sharply in recent weeks in anticipation of being included, and many fund managers think they are already at or above fair value. So Qatar’s main stock index, which retreated 2.9 percent on Wednesday because of profit-taking, may not rise much if at all on Thursday.

Analysts at Deutsche Bank have cut their price target for telecommunications operator Ooredoo, which will be included in the index, to 107.00 riyals from 125 riyals. Ooredoo, last at 102.70 riyals, is up 7.5 percent over the last month.

In the United Arab Emirates, Nasdaq Dubai is launching on Thursday single stock futures in seven major UAE companies, including Aldar Properties, Emaar Properties and Etisalat.