November 29, 2016 / 5:50 AM / a year ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Speculative trade may drive Gulf markets as OPEC decision looms

DUBAI, Nov 29 (Reuters) - Stock markets in the Gulf may remain driven by retail investors’ speculative trade in small and mid-sized shares on Tuesday with many institutional funds staying clear of the markets until there is more clarity on OPEC’s decision this week.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries will meet officially in Vienna on Wednesday to discuss a planned production cut in an effort to curb overproduction. Oil prices have been volatile, with Brent crude at $47.96 a barrel in early Asian trade on Tuesday.

Many investors, particularly in Dubai, have been using margin trading in an effort to turn quick profits. “Margin trading helps investors profit from intra-day movements in stocks if the price moves in their favour,” noted a Dubai-based broker.

On Monday, Saudi Arabia’s index climbed 0.9 percent to 6,904 points, its highest close since Jan. 3; it rose above major technical resistance on its April peak of 6,876 points, with activity concentrated in second and third-tier stocks.

A second consecutive close above that level would be very bullish technically, forming a major double bottom that would point to the index reaching around 8,400 points in the long term.

In Dubai, construction firm Arabtec may attract interest after it said it had appointed Hamish Tyrwhitt as its new chief executive. Tyrwhitt served as chief executive of Australian contractor Leighton Holdings, since rebranded CIMIC Group, between 2011 and 2014. (Reporting by Celine Aswad; Editing by Andrew Torchia)

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