MIDEAST STOCKS-Aldar lifts Abu Dhabi; most Gulf bourses up
DUBAI, March 4
DUBAI, March 4 (Reuters) - Aldar Properties led Abu Dhabi's bourse to a seven-month high on Sunday after Moody's raised its outlook on the developer to positive and Dubai's bourse extended its rally while other regional markets ended mixed.
Shares in Aldar surged 6.8 percent to their highest close since August.
Moody's changed the company's outlook to positive from negative after the government bought assets from the developer, reducing market risk.
"Fundamentals are accurately reflected right now, but any bit of positive news is an addition the rally can take into account and build on," said Amer Khan, fund manager at Shuaa Asset Management.
Rival Sorouh Real Estate climbed 6.6 percent. The emirate's benchmark ended 0.7 percent higher at 2,641 points, its highest close since August.
Dubai's index climbed 3.1 percent to its highest close since November 2010. The market is up 29.6 percent so far in 2012, significantly outperforming other Gulf market.
"Now there's a lot of retail money that missed the previous rally and is pushing the second leg up now. We passed the fundamental rally a long time ago, now it's retail-driven that can turn very sharply," Khan added.
Dubai Financial Market surged 14.4 percent, National Central Cooling (Tabreed) jumped 14.8 percent and mortgage lender Tamweel rose 15 percent.
In Saudi Arabia, petrochemical stocks helped lift the index , recouping early-session losses.
The benchmark climbed 0.2 percent, extending year-to-date gains to 14.5 percent.
Bellwether Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) rose 0.3 percent, National Industrialization (Tasnee) gained 0.5 percent and Advanced Petrochemical advanced 1.1 percent.
"The petrochemical sector has the lowest price-to-earnings ratio, which means it has a lot of room for improvements with any signs of growth in the global economy," said Mateb Al Ghanim, portfolio manager at Amlakuna Investment Group.
"It represents a significant weight on the market especially with the huge support the Saudi government is pulling for this sector."
In Kuwait, activity in small-cap stocks lifted the index by 0.9 precent to its highest close since July 2011.
Abyaar Real Estate gained 5.3 percent, Gulf Finance House rose 3 percent and Al Safat Investment climbed 4.9 percent.
Elsewhere, Oman's index ticked up 0.09 percent, in its eighth-straight gain.
* The index gained 0.7 percent to 2,641 points.
* The index surged 3.1 percent to 1,754 points.
* The index advanced 0.2 percent to 7,351 points.
* The measure climbed 0.9 percent to 6,186 points.
* The index ticked up 0.09 percent to 5,847 points.
* The measure fell 1.2 percent to 5,308 points.
* The measure eased 0.03 percent to 1,148 points. (Editing by Firouz Sedarat)
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