MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf may have soft tone as investors await Q3 results

DUBAI, Oct 12 (Reuters) - Stock markets in the Gulf may have a soft tone on Wednesday as investors await third-quarter corporate results and after the rise in oil prices stalled, at least temporarily.

Brent oil futures are trading a little over $52.50 a barrel in Asian trade. The commodity has rallied more than 13 percent in less than two weeks since OPEC proposed its first production curbs in eight years.

The oil-sensitive petrochemical sector triggered the Saudi stock index’s 1.5 percent bounce on Tuesday, but with little fresh information on which to trade, the sector may move little on Wednesday.

Banque Saudi Fransi, the second major Saudi bank to report earnings, posted third-quarter net profit of 1.01 billion riyals, a 1.0 percent dip from the same period last year. That was in line with the expectations of analysts, who had predicted 1.04 billion riyals. The bank cited higher expenses and impairment charges.

Other Gulf bourses may also pull back on profit taking; MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan is down 0.4 percent after the U.S. S&P 500 Index fell 1.2 percent to near a one-month low overnight.

On Tuesday, Dubai’s index rebounded 1.0 percent to close at 3,391 points, but technical analysts at NBAD Securities said the recovery in the near term would likely be short-lived as trading volumes remained modest. (Reporting by Celine Aswad; Editing by Andrew Torchia)