September 6, 2018 / 12:59 PM / 8 months ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi extends losses on emerging market turbulence

* Saudi index has lost 7.6 pct this quarter

* Dubai lifted by property stocks

* Bank Muscat gains after SICO rates it a buy

By Saeed Azhar

DUBAI, Sept 6 (Reuters) - Saudi stocks extended losses on Thursday after a 3 percent plunge a day earlier, as investors were rattled by turbulence in emerging markets, while other Gulf markets were mixed with Dubai shares lifted by property stocks.

The Saudi index ended 0.4 percent lower with Saudi Basic Industries dropping 2 percent and refiner Petro Rabigh falling 3.8 percent.

The index is still up 6 percent so far this year but has lost about 7.6 percent in this quarter. Some brokers said the market was ripe for a correction after heavy selling this week.

“Currently what we see is that the premium to valuation multiples has declined,” said Mazen al-Sudairi, head of research Al Rajhi Capital. “This is because fund managers are looking to reduce equities exposure due to trade wars and especially emerging markets given the steep decline in EM (emerging market) currencies. In our view the probability of downside from these levels is very limited. “

On Wednesday, Saudi Arabia’s stock index dropped 3.9 percent in late trade, falling below its 200-day average for the first time this year, before closing 3.1 percent lower.

Abu Dhabi index was down 0.2 percent, hurt by weakness in energy and financial stocks.

Abu Dhabi National Energy Co was down by 2.6 percent. Union National Bank, which saw big gains this week on news that it is in merger talks with Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, was down 4.

First Abu Dhabi Bank provided some support with gains of 0.4 percent.

Dubai index ended 0.3 percent higher, lifted by an almost 5 percent gain in Union Properties and a 1.9 percent rise in Emaar Development .

Insurance firm Salama surged 10 pct after direct deals or block trades were executed on the stock on 370.7 million worth of shares at 0.42 dirhams.

Salama traded at 0.54 UAE dirham ($0.1497).

Bank Muscat, Oman’s biggest lender, ended 1.6 percent higher after securities firm SICO raised its target price to 0.46 rials ($1.19) and recommended a “buy” rating on the stock. The stock closed at 0.39 rials.

The benchmark Muscat index closed flat.

SAUDI ARABIA * The index fell 0.4 percent to 7,688 points. DUBAI * The index rose 0.3 percent to 2,827 points. ABU DHABI * The index lost 0.2 percent to 4,918 points. QATAR * The index ended flat at 9,827 points. KUWAIT * The index was up 0.2 percent at 5,305 points. BAHRAIN * The index rose 0.4 percent to 1,340 points. OMAN * The index was flat at 4,433 points.

EGYPT * The index rose 0.3 percent to 15,803 points.

Editing by Kirsten Donovan

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