September 18, 2018 / 7:35 AM / 3 months ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf markets open weaker, Deyaar soars in Dubai

DUBAI, Sept 18 (Reuters) - Most Gulf markets opened in negative territory on Tuesday, mirroring a slip in Asian shares after Washington announced new tariffs on Chinese imports, escalating trade tensions between the world’s two biggest economies.

In Dubai, where the index was down 0.7 percent in the first hour of trade, second-tier real estate developer Deyaar Development soared 7 percent to 0.45 dirhams, and was one of the most heavily traded stocks by a large margin.

Shares in the company have rebounded from a five-year low hit last month and last week rose above their 100-day average for the first time since March.

The bounce did not seem to be linked to a law approved by the United Arab Emirates on Sunday allowing retired expatriates to stay in the country with renewable five-year visas if they meet conditions, which could encourage them to buy homes or make other investments.

Stocks in major Dubai real estate developers such as Emaar Properties and DAMAC Properties remained weak and were down 1 percent and 2 percent respectively early on Tuesday.

The Abu Dhabi index was down 0.1 percent after one hour of trading, with Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank the worst performer, down 4.3 percent. The lender, which last week raised $750 million through a perpetual sukuk, is planning a capital raising exercise which would include a 1 billion dirhams ($272.27 million) rights issue.

The Saudi index was flat in the first minutes of trading, with volume concentrated on Dar Al Arkan Real Estate Development Co, up 0.9 percent, and Saudi Kayan Petrochemical Co, down 1.2 percent.

Despite a recent sell off in the Saudi market, mostly driven by emerging markets weakness, fund managers continue to have a bullish outlook for the exchange, according to the results of a fund managers’ survey published by NCB Capital on Tuesday.

Most of the survey’s respondents found the Saudi index “fairly valued” and have a positive outlook, in particular for the banking, petrochemicals and insurance sectors, NCB Capital said. ($1 = 3.6728 UAE dirham) (Reporting by Davide Barbuscia; additional reporting by Marwa Rashad; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)

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