MIDEAST STOCKS-Some mkts claw back early-week losses; trading thin

DUBAI, June 25 Tue Jun 25, 2013 9:59am EDT

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DUBAI, June 25 (Reuters) - Some Middle East bourses rose on Tuesday, clawing back part of their early-week losses as bargain hunters bought back bluechip stocks, although trading volumes were thin as a summer lull deepened.

Saudi Arabia's benchmark rose 0.2 percent, extending 2013 gains to 10.5 percent.

Al Rajhi Bank added 0.4 percent and property developer Dar Al Arkan rose 1.9 percent.

Turnover has slumped, with some investors on summer vacation and others awaiting catalysts to justify committing new money to the market.

Markets in the United Arab Emirates ended a three-session losing streak, with Dubai's measure and Abu Dhabi's index both up 0.4 percent.

"The pull-back has brought prices back to levels where people who haven't looked at Dubai can get in - this will bring buying interest but maybe not as sharply as before," said Amer Khan, fund manager at Shuaa Asset Management.

Khan said investors would be cautious ahead of Ramadan, the Muslim month of fasting, which is due to start on July 8.

Gulf market activity usually drops in the summer as many people leave the region to escape the scorching heat.

Heavyweights Emaar Properties and telecom operator Etisalat rose 0.4 and 2.7 percent respectively.

In Kuwait, the index slipped 0.2 percent, its fifth decline in six sessions.

The market is still up 33.6 percent in 2013; a move mainly driven by local retail investors buying as the political and economic outlook improved.

Retail traders have cut positions this week, with institutional and longer-term investors buying on hopes the government would soon announce mega-projects as part of long-delayed $30 billion development plan, according to Abdulateef Alabdulrazaq, senior trader at NBK Capital.

"The market is correcting after big year-to-date gains and volumes are lower - it should come back after Ramadan if development projects are announced," he said.

Large-caps drop, with telecom operator Zain and logistics firm Agility down 1.5 and 4.2 percent respectively.

Elsewhere, Egypt's benchmark added 0.2 percent, up from Monday's one-year low.

Foreign investors were net sellers and regional investors were net buyers, according to bourse data.

Trading is slim, evidence of a risk-averse attitude ahead of protest rallies planned for June 30 - the first anniversary of President Mohamed Mursi taking office.

Qatar's exchange was closed for a bank holiday to mark the Gulf state's emir handing over power to his son.

A recovery on global shares also helped sentiment after comments by U.S. and Chinese central bankers eased concerns about liquidity conditions.

TUESDAY'S HIGHLIGHTS

SAUDI ARABIA

* The index climbed 0.2 percent to 7,517 points.

DUBAI

* The index gained 0.4 percent to 2,266 points.

ABU DHABI

* The index advanced 0.4 percent to 3,539 points.

KUWAIT

* The index slipped 0.2 percent to 7,926 points.

OMAN

* The index fell 0.6 percent to 6,314 points.

EGYPT

* The index rose 0.2 percent to 4,534 points.

BAHRAIN

* The index fell 0.3 percent to 1,194 points.

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