MIDEAST STOCKS-Most Gulf bourses ease slightly; sentiment positive

DUBAI Mon Nov 14, 2011 9:06am EST

DUBAI Nov 14 (Reuters) - Most Gulf Arab bourses closed slightly lower on Monday in thin volume dealing, but overall sentiment was positive with investors looking to Europe for positive news concerning the debt crisis there.

Gulf markets opened slightly higher tracking Asian stocks which rose earlier in the day on hopes that technocrat leaders in Italy and Greece would push for radical reform to contain the euro debt crisis, before easing slightly.

Abu Dhabi's Dana Gas was in focus after the energy firm said its third-quarter net profit more than quadrupled buoyed by a 20 percent increase in total production and higher oil prices.

The stock closed 1.8 percent higher.

"I believe UAE markets are moving up gradually and nicely as they are building on a rebound that started before Eid holidays," said Mohammed Ali Yasin, chief investment officer at CAPM Investment.

"We are benefiting from a slight improvement in investor confidence helped by third quarter earnings. Although there weren't many surprises, however, it demonstrated that certain sectors, especially real estate and banking, are moving in the right direction."

Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank fell 0.7 percent.

The lender has picked four banks for a potential Islamic bond, or sukuk, which could be launched this week, a document from arranging banks showed on Monday.

Abu Dhabi's index fell 0.2 percent while Dubai eased 0.4 percent with construction firms Arabtec and Drake & Scull slipping 0.7 percent and 0.6 percent respectively.

Dubai's Union Properties fell 2.2 percent.

Qatar and Kuwait were the only markets to end in positive territory rising 0.3 percent and 0.03 percent respectively.

Heavyweight Industries Qatar also advanced 0.3 percent while Qatar National Bank and Qatar Islamic Bank rose 0.9 percent and 0.4 percent.

Saudi Arabia's bourse eased 0.3 percent after two days of gains.

MONDAY'S HIGHLIGHTS

DUBAI

* The benchmark eased 0.4 percent to 1,388 points

ABU DHABI

* The main measure slipped 0.2 percent to 2,487 points

SAUDI ARABIA

* The kingdom's bourse fell 0.3 percent to 6,238 points.

OMAN

* Muscat's measure fell 0.1 percent to 5,559 points

KUWAIT

* The index advanced 0.03 percent to 5,870 points

BAHRAIN

* The bourse eased 0.4 percent to 1,150 points

EGYPT

* Cairo's bourse fell 2.7 percent to 4,181 points

(Reporting by Jason Benham; editing by Sami Aboudi)

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