October 3, 2011 / 1:56 PM / 6 years ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Egypt hit by bills sale, Gulf dips on global woes

* Egypt falls after sale of treasury bills

* Gulf market fall to milestone lows; tracking global losses

By Yasmine Saleh and Nadia Saleem

CAIRO/DUBAI, Oct 3 (Reuters) - Egypt’s bourse fell on Monday after a sale of treasury bills drew funds and Dubai’s index made its largest one-day drop in eight weeks as losses on global markets spooked regional investors.

Cairo’s main index fell 2.8 percent as treasury bills drew investor funds out of equities.

“The government has offered treasury bills at good rates, which attracted investors who saw them safer than the stocks which are risky assets,” said Mohamed Seddiek, head of research at Prime brokerage.

Egyptian treasury bill yields retreated at an auction on Sunday after having shot above 13 percent last month, a level bankers said was more than the central bank had previously been prepared to pay.

Elsewhere, Dubai’s benchmark fell 1.6 percent, its biggest fall since Aug. 9, to end at a fresh seven-month low.

World stocks have kicked off the final quarter of the year sharply lower as concerns grow that a broader Greek debt default may be in the works after figures showed Athens would miss a deficit target.

“This week, our markets are taking the lead from the global backdrop rather than treading their own path,” said Matthew Wakeman, EFG-Hermes managing director for cash and equity-linked trading. “Buyers are cautious and sitting low.”

Bellwether Emaar Properties fell 3.7 percent, also to a seven-month low. Builder Arabtec shed 2.2 percent and Dubai Financial Market slipped 1.9 percent.

Saudi Arabia’s index slumped to a six-week low in a broad sell-off, also tracking losses in world markets.

The benchmark lost 1.4 percent to end at its lowest close since Aug. 24.

“We should see some reasonable results coming in starting next week, which should give some support,” said Paul Gamble, head of research at Jadwa Investment. “But unfortunately, we’re being thrown around by what’s happening globally.”

Petrochemical and insurance stocks led trading, with Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) falling 2.5 percent, after a fall in oil prices.

Saudi petrochemical stocks tend to track oil prices, with crude impacting their bottom line. Oil is also seen as a proxy for global economic activity and therefore demand for petrochemical products.

The insurance index slipped 1.7 percent as all sectors closed lower.

Abu Dhabi’s index dropped 0.7 percent to its lowest close since September 2010.

Elsewhere, Qatar slipped 0.8 percent, extending 2011 losses to 4.5 percent as all but four stocks ended lower.

Yet Qatar is the best performing regional market this year.

Gulf companies will start reporting third-quarter earnings in a few days, with Saudi Arabia and Qatar usually the early pacesetters.

In Oman, the index fell 0.2 percent, down in seven of the past eight sessions. Most stocks declined.

“We believe Q3 earnings might not be a great trigger for the market unless global uncertainties subside,” said Kanaga Sundar, Gulf Baader Capital Markets head of research. “We believe Oman banking sector earnings (will) show a sharper jump on a sequential basis.”

Kuwait’s index dipped 0.5 percent to its lowest close since Aug. 29.

MONDAY‘S HIGHLIGHTS

EGYPT

* The measure fell 2.8 percent to 4,077 points.

DUBAI

* The index dropped 1.6 percent to 1,408 points.

Saudi Arabia

* The measure dropped 1.4 percent to 6,024 points.

ABU DHABI

* The index dipped 0.7 percent to 2,519 points.

QATAR

* The index fell 0.8 percent to 8,291 points.

OMAN

* The index declined 0.2 percent to 5,581 points.

KUWAIT

* The measure fell 0.5 percent to 5,812 points.

BAHRAIN

* The measure slipped 0.6 percent to 1,170 points.

Editing by Firouz Sedarat

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
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