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Gulf stock markets pull back, mild profit-taking in Saudi

* Saudi index was down 0.3 per cent after 30 minutes of trade

* Dubai’s index dropped 0.4 per cent as Emaar Properties lost 0.9 per cent

* Qatar slipped 0.2 per cent

* Abu Dhabi’s index rose 0.3 per cent,


Most stock markets in the Gulf fell in early trade on Wednesday, with Saudi Arabia edging down after five straight days of gains, following declines in global bourses and oil prices.

The Saudi index was down 0.3 percent after 30 minutes of trade, but selling was light, suggesting the market’s rebound might soon resume.

The Saudi market has been recovering since last week’s huge international bond sale by0 the government improved sentiment and encouraged buying-back of many beaten-down stocks that had suffered double digit declines this year.

The petrochemical sector led Wednesday morning’s drop, with banks moving sideways. Utility Saudi Electricity gained 1.4 percent in active trade; at the end of last week it reported a 50.8 percent jump in third-quarter net profit.

Dubai’s index dropped 0.4 percent as Emaar Properties lost 0.9 percent. Qatar slipped 0.2 percent as strong third-quarter earnings by real estate firms failed to boost those stocks; United Development Co fell 1.4 percent despite a more than three-fold rise in profit.

Abu Dhabi’s index rose 0.3 percent, however, on the back of a 2.8 percent gain by First Gulf Bank, which is expected to report quarterly earnings after the close on Wednesday. It had dropped for the previous four straight days.