| DUBAI, Sept 2
DUBAI, Sept 2 Egypt's bourse retreated on Monday
amid a wider regional decline as worries over an army crackdown
against the Muslim Brotherhood worsened an already weak
sentiment on geo-political risks from a potential military
strike against Syria.
Regional markets recovered some lost ground on Sunday after
U.S. President Barack Obama delayed an imminent military strike
against Syria, saying he will seek congressional consent.
Short-term profit-taking however, dragged prices back down. A
strike, if approved, is not expected before mid-September.
"Although short-term pressure has faded for another week or
so until there is a resolution from Congress, Egypt is
correlated to regional volatility and price swings," said Islam
Batrawy, deputy director of sales trading at Egypt's Naeem
In Egypt, army-backed authorities referred deposed President
Mohamed Mursi to trial on Sunday on charges of inciting murder
Later on Monday, a judicial panel advised a court to
dissolve the Muslim Brotherhood as a legally registered
This is likely to widen the gap between factions in the
polarised nation and reduces chances of an inclusive government
when Egypt heads for parliamentary elections, as planned by the
"Locally, the Mursi trial news is adding to the cautious
sentiment," Batrawy added.
After being battered this year by the local political
crisis, Egypt may stay under pressure from worries of a possible
attack in Syria. While this seems unlikely to have a direct
impact on neighbouring states but possible reaction from its
allies Iran and Russia could stir wider problems and impact fuel
Cairo's market is down 3.8 percent year-to-date,
significantly underperforming its Gulf peers that are enjoying a
Elsewhere, Dubai bourse slipped 0.5 percent in
volatile trading and snapping two sessions of gains.
Shares in Drake and Scull International slipped 0.9
percent in a downbeat market. The firm said it won a 415 million
dirham ($112.99 million) contract from the main developers
assigned to build a branch of France's Louvre museum in Abu
Qatar's bourses each declined 0.5 percent, while Abu
Dhabi closes near-flat.
In Saudi Arabia, the index climbed 0.7 percent, up
for a fourth straight session since it fell to a one-month low.
Banking shares led gains with the sector's index
rising 1.2 percent. Heavyweight petrochemical sector
added 0.7 percent.
"The priority for the rebound is retail and then
petrochemical and then banking - definite positive we see in the
growth story," said John Sfakianakis, chief investment
strategist at Saudi investment firm MASIC.
The retail sector added 0.6 percent. Companies in
the industry are enjoying robust double-digit growth buoyed by
an increasing population and spending power.
Petrochemical producing firms are also seen benefiting -
from higher oil prices. Brent crude oil steadied around $114 on
Monday, after a week of gains driven by worries of fuel supplies
in case of an attack on Syria.
"If the Syrian conflict intensifies, Saudi Arabia's market
is insulated from foreign investment fluctuations and will
benefit due to its proximity to oil," Naeem's Batrawy said.
Foreigners can only trade Saudi equities via swaps.
Markets in the UAE however could face an inverse reaction
and a flight of foreign funds, he added.
* The index fell 1.1 percent to 5,245 points.
* The index climbed 0.7 percent to 7,934 points.
* The index slipped 0.5 percent to 2,586 points.
* The index ticked up 0.04 percent to 3,804 points.
* The index retreated 0.5 percent to 9,618 points.
* The index slipped 0.4 percent to 7,596 points.
* The index eased 0.07 percent to 6,731 points.
* The index edged up 0.05 percent to 1,189 points.