August 21, 2016 / 1:56 PM / 3 years ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf edges down despite petchems; Telecom Egypt climbs

* Brent crude oil above $50 a barrel

* Saudi Basic Industries nears top of recent range

* FTSE prospects in Qatar lose steam

* Thinly traded Arab Banking Corp lifts Bahrain

* Telecom Egypt climbs after 4G licence terms approved

By Andrew Torchia

DUBAI, Aug 21 (Reuters) - Most Gulf stock markets edged down on Sunday despite strength in some Saudi Arabian petrochemical shares, while Telecom Egypt boosted Egypt’s bourse slightly.

Brent crude oil closed above $50 a barrel on Thursday and Friday for the first time since July 4. This encouraged buying of petrochemical stocks on Sunday, with Saudi Basic Industries adding 0.9 percent to 84.25 riyals, nearing technical resistance at 86-87 riyals, the top of the range in which it has traded since April.

Most other stocks were sluggish in the absence of fresh, positive news, and the main Saudi equities index fell 0.2 percent.

Dubai’s stock index fell 0.4 percent to 3,560 points, once again retreating from technical resistance at its April peak of 3,605 points. Construction firm Drake & Scull slid 2.7 percent.

Qatar’s index fell 0.2 percent. Stocks which surged last week on hopes they would be included in FTSE’s emerging markets index next month lost steam, with Qatar National Bank flat and Qatar Insurance losing 1.4 percent.

Bahrain’s index outperformed the region, rising 0.7 percent, but that was mostly because of a 6.3 percent jump in Arab Banking Corp in very thin trade.

In Egypt, the index rose 0.4 percent as Telecom Egypt surged 3.0 percent. Late last week the telecommunications regulator approved revised terms for 4G mobile broadband network licences; Telecom Egypt has said it will buy a licence.

SAUDI ARABIA

* The index fell 0.2 percent to 6,212 points.

DUBAI

* The index dropped 0.4 percent to 3,560 points.

ABU DHABI

* The index edged up 0.02 percent to 4,519 points.

EGYPT

* The index rose 0.4 percent to 8,352 points.

QATAR

* The index fell 0.2 percent to 11,298 points.

KUWAIT

* The index edged down 0.1 percent to 5,468 points.

OMAN

* The index edged up 0.1 percent to 5,899 points.

BAHRAIN

* The index rose 0.7 percent to 1,157 points.

Editing by Andrew Roche

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