August 7, 2018 / 1:08 PM / 2 months ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Abu Dhabi hits multi-year high, Saudi shrugs off diplomatic row

* Abu Dhabi index hits highest level since 2014

* Saudi market boosted by firmer oil

* Shrugs off row between Saudi Arabia and Canada

* Shuaa Capital shines in Dubai

* Qatar Industries lifts index

By Davide Barbuscia

DUBAI, Aug 7 (Reuters) - Gulf stocks mostly rose on Tuesday, with the Abu Dhabi exchange hitting its highest level since 2014 and Saudi Arabia’s exchange shrugging off a diplomatic row with Canada.

The Abu Dhabi index reversed a small correction earlier in the day to close 0.6 percent higher at 4,911 points, its highest in four years.

Blue chip First Abu Dhabi Bank gained 1.8 percent, followed by Union National Bank, up 1.7 percent. Firmer oil prices boosted Dana Gas, which rose 0.9 percent.

Abu Dhabi National Energy Co (TAQA) dropped 4.9 percent – though amid very thin trading volume – reversing a 4.2 percent surge on Monday.

Aldar Properties fell 2 percent after reporting a 28 percent decline in second-quarter profit, missing estimates.

Oil prices were up as revived U.S. sanctions against major crude exporter Iran were expected to tighten global supply. Brent crude oil futures were up 1.5 percent at $74.86 per barrel at 1219 GMT.

This gave some support to the Saudi market, where oil and gas and petrochemical companies posted significant gains, with Methanol Chemicals Co among the best performers, jumping 8.6 percent.

Insurance companies continued to rise on the back of positive second quarter results across the industry. Saudi Enaya Cooperative Co was the best performer on Tuesday, surging almost 10 percent.

The Saudi index closed with a 0.2 percent gain, suggesting that the market had shrugged off potential impacts on business from a diplomatic row between Canada and Saudi Arabia, which threatens to hurt bilateral trade, consisting largely of Saudi exports of petrochemicals, plastics and other products.

In Dubai, the index shed 0.9 percent, pulled down by real estate companies such as Damac Properties Dubai Co, down 5.2 percent, and heavyweight Emaar Properties, which dropped 1.1 percent.

The best performer was Shuaa Capital, which jumped 4 percent after reporting a second-quarter net profit of 14.6 million dirhams ($4 million) against 12.1 million dirhams a year earlier.

In Qatar, the index added 0.4 percent, boosted by blue chip Industries Qatar, which rose 3.2 percent. Qatar has been the best-performing market in the Middle East this year, recently overtaking Saudi Arabia, in a rally that started after several Qatari companies raised limits on foreign ownership.

SAUDI ARABIA

* The index added 0.2 percent to 8,243 points.

DUBAI

* The index dropped 0.9 percent to 2,951 points.

ABU DHABI

* The index gained 0.6 percent to 4,911 points.

QATAR

* The index added 0.4 percent to 9,974 points.

KUWAIT

* The index rose 0.4 percent to 5,457 points.

BAHRAIN

* The index lost 0.3 percent to 1,348 points.

OMAN

* The index went up 0.6 percent to 4,448 points.

EGYPT

* The index rose 0.7 percent to 15,762 points. ($1 = 3.6728 UAE dirham) (Reporting by Davide Barbuscia; Editing by Susan Fenton)

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