MIDEAST STOCKS-Petchems lift Saudi to 7-wk high; most Gulf mkts up

DUBAI Tue Nov 6, 2012 9:26am EST

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DUBAI Nov 6 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia's bourse made its largest one-day gain in 10 weeks on Tuesday, rallying to a seven-week high as petrochemicals stocks rose on bargain hunting and most other Gulf bourses also gained.

Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC), the world's largest chemicals producer, climbed 2.3 percent, National Industrialization rose 2.6 percent and Saudi Arabian Fertilizers added 1.9 percent.

Saudi petrochemical and banking shares suffered heavy losses after broadly disappointing third-quarter earnings, dragging the benchmark back to July levels, but analysts said this selling was overdone and had forecast share prices would recover after the Eid al-Adha holidays ended on Nov. 2.

"Petchem stocks were hammered with the results and keeping in mind global markets just opened yesterday and oil is up, this is opportunity buying," said Tariq Alalaiwat, equity research analyst at NCB Capital.

Brent crude rose more than $1 a barrel on Tuesday.

Saudi's bank index rose 1.2 percent. Banque Saudi Fransi and Samba Financial Group were the main gainers, rising 3.3 and 2 percent respectively.

The kingdom's manin benchmark climbed 1.1 percent to close at its highest level since Sept. 25.

In Kuwait, the bourse slipped 0.5 percent, declining for a fourth session in five, although selling pressure appeared to be easing along with investor fears that political protests could become more violent.

The index finished about 60 points above Sunday's eight-year low. Small-caps were hardest hit. Ithmaar Bank fell 5.1 percent, Inovest slipped 2 percent and Gulf Finance House lost 2.9 percent.

The five largest stocks on the index closed flat. Analysts said stake-linked funds have been buying bluechip stocks to help ease broader selling pressure.

In the United Arab Emirates, Dana Gas finished 2.5 percent higher, having risen as much as 5 percent intraday as it rebounded from Monday's seven-week low. The company said on Tuesday it is still negotiating a standstill agreement with a creditors' committee.

Banks also gained, with Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB) and National Bank of Abu Dhabi climbing 0.9 and 0.4 percent respectively.

Abu Dhabi's benchmark rose for a first session in three, finishing 0.5 percent higher.

Dubai's index climbed 0.2 percent, easing away from Monday's one-month closing low.

Telecom operator Du advanced 3 percent, while Emaar Properties slipped 0.3 percent.

"The results (in the UAE) were mostly neutral to disappointing so far - the star companies of last four quarters like Emaar, ADCB, du have came below expectations, while new players surprised on the upside," said Mohammed Yasin, managing director of Abu Dhabi Financial Services.

"UNB (United National Bank) looks like it may take that role in the future, provided they confirm and consolidate their positions in the coming two quarters," Yasin adds.

Shares in Abu Dhabi's UNB climbed 0.3 percent.

Elsewhere, Qatar and Oman's bourse ended little moved.

TUESDAY'S HIGHLIGHTS

SAUDI ARABIA

* The benchmark rose 1.1 percent to 6,919 points.

KUWAIT

* The benchmark slipped 0.5 percent to 5,712 points.

ABU DHABI

* The index climbed 0.5 percent to 2,675 points.

DUBAI

* The benchmark rose 0.2 percent to 1,616 points.

QATAR

* The index climbed 0.06 percent to 8,570 points.

OMAN

* The measure edged up 0.01 percent to 5,687 points.

BAHRAIN

* The index rose 0.6 percent to 1,063 points.

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