May 29, 2018 / 8:21 AM / a year ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Dubai Islamic Bank weighs on Dubai index; Qatar keeps rising

DUBAI, May 29 (Reuters) - The Dubai stock market was sluggish on Tuesday, dragged down by building contractor Drake & Scull International and Dubai Islamic Bank, while other Gulf markets were up slightly in the first hour of trading.

The Dubai index shed 0.3 percent in early trade. Heavyweight Dubai Islamic Bank was down 0.2 percent, as shares continued to slip while trading in a rights issue, which started in mid-May and will end on May 30.

Building contractor Drake & Scull International was 0.8 percent lower, after making significant gains following positive first quarter results.

The company made a net profit of 7.3 million dirhams ($2 million) in the first quarter of this year, against an 838.8 million loss in the first quarter of 2017. However, in a note published earlier this week, research firm AlphaMena said a sustainable recovery in the stock looked unlikely, “since the contractor is still facing liquidity issues and needs to improve its business efficiency.”

Outside of Dubai, Gulf markets were little changed. The Saudi index was up 0.1 percent with Alinma Bank , the second most-traded stock, 0.3 percent higher.

Real estate developer Dar Al Arkan attracted the highest volume in the first hour of trading, and was down 0.6 percent.

The Qatar index was up 0.7 percent at 9,187 points. It was heading towards its next resistance level at 9,200 after breaking away from recent resistance at 9,000, a QNB research note said. ($1 = 3.6726 UAE dirham) (Reporting by Davide Barbuscia, additional reporting by Saeed Azhar Editing by Susan Fenton)

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