* Investors think Qatar diplomatic dispute will be resolved
* Banks, retail sector shares boost Saudi in heavy volume
* Dubai up but waning volume shows momentum decreasing
* FGB going ex-dividend hits Abu Dhabi
* Weak Global Telecom Q4 pulls down Egypt
By Nadia Saleem
DUBAI, March 6 Qatar's stock market bounced back
on Thursday, leading gains in a mostly upbeat Gulf region after
the Qatari government appeared conciliatory in its diplomatic
dispute with Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.
Those three countries decided to withdraw their ambassadors
from Doha on Wednesday, saying Qatar had failed to honour a Gulf
Cooperation Council agreement not to back "anyone threatening
the security and stability of the GCC" - an apparent reference
to Qatar's support of Islamist figures.
But Doha responded by pledging its commitment to regional
security policies and saying it would not withdraw its own
ambassadors, fuelling hopes that the dispute could be resolved.
Qatar's stock market, which fell 2.1 percent on
Wednesday because of the dispute, rebounded 2.3 percent on
Thursday in its biggest one-day gain for six months.
"It's too early to tell what the medium to long-term impact
will be, but today is a reversal of the knee-jerk reaction to
yesterday's news," said Amer Khan, senior executive officer at
Shuaa Asset Management.
"Historically, disagreements like these did not get
publicised and this was a departure from that."
Many analysts believe an escalation to the point where the
GCC's integrity is threatened, or where economic sanctions are
imposed, is unlikely.
Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia's bourse rose 1.0 percent to
a near six-year high as banking and retail sector shares
climbed. Trading volume on Wednesday was the highest since May
2012, and it remained high on Thursday.
Dubai's measure also rebounded, rising 1.3 percent
after slipping 0.5 percent in the previous session. However, it
stayed in the range of the last three weeks and appears to have
entered a consolidation phase after spectacular gains since the
end of 2012.
Volume this week was the lowest since early November,
another sign of waning upward momentum.
In Abu Dhabi, First Gulf Bank fell 4.2 percent as
it went ex-dividend; the wider market slipped 0.8
In Egypt, weak earnings triggered profit-taking, taking the
benchmark index down 0.9 percent to 7,950 points. The
index has struggled to break decisively above psychological
resistance at 8,000 points since rising above it on Feb. 23 for
the first time in more than five years.
Global Telecom, the Egypt-based group formerly
called Orascom Telecom, fell 2.9 percent after its
fourth-quarter net loss widened 59 percent. The firm took a
multi-million dollar impairment charge on its Canadian business
following the latter's withdrawal from a 4G spectrum auction.
"Global weighed on the market and it triggered profit-taking
across the board, and the market couldn't sustain above the
8,000 level," said Mohamed Radwan, director of international
sales at Pharos Securities.
* The index rose 2.3 percent to 11,607 points.
* The index advanced 1.0 percent to 9,249 points.
* The index climbed 1.3 percent to 4,154 points.
* The index slipped 0.8 percent to 4,897 points.
* The index fell 0.9 percent to 7,950 points.
* The index gained 0.4 percent to 7,507 points.
* The index slipped 0.2 percent to 7,118 points.
* The index climbed 0.6 percent to 1,373 points.