March 10, 2019 / 3:10 PM / 6 months ago

MIDEAST STOCKS- Gulf stocks hit by global market weakness, IPOs boost Egypt

    * Abu Dhabi stocks hurt by selling in banks
    * Saudi loses early gains amid lower oil prices
    * Egyptian stocks up, supported by IPOs

    By Nafisa Eltahir
    DUBAI, March 10 (Reuters) - Gulf markets ended lower on
Sunday, weighed down by weak global markets and a drop in oil
price, but Egyptian stocks defied the trend, gaining on the back
of positive momentum generated by the initial public offering of
a state-owned company.
    Abu Dhabi's stock index lost 0.9 percent, hurt mainly
by First Abu Dhabi Bank, which was down 1.6 percent,
while other banks were also lower.
    FAB's shares were hit partly by technical factors, as the
stock fell through its fifty-day moving average on Thursday and
also below its 100 day moving average, an analyst said. 
    The Abu Dhabi index has had a weak March, falling 5.2
percent since the start of the month.
    Dubai's stock exchange was down 0.6 percent ,
weighed down by Emaar Properties , which was down 0.8
percent and Dubai Islamic Bank, down 0.8 percent.
    "Dubai is basically just giving up the funny little rally it
had in the second half of February," the analyst said. "The
rally was triggered by Aldar's super-duper dividend,
and everyone got excited and (then) everyone realised there
wasn't a reason to get excited."
    Egypt's stock index was the only gainer on Sunday,
up 0.5 percent. 
    This was due to the initial public offering of state-owned
cigarette maker Eastern Company last week, as well as
another upcoming IPO, Karim Abdelaziz, general manager of
brokerage Miracle for Securities Transactions, said.

    Saudi Arabia's main index was down 0.2 percent, hit
by a weak performance among banking stocks. Banque Saudi Fransi
 was down 1.4 percent, while Samba Financial Group
 was down 0.7 percent.
    Banks had gained in early trading after Saudi authorities
said on Friday they had no current plans to increase Islamic tax
levels on the private sector.
    The Saudi market is anticipating the Tadawul exchange's
impending entry into the FTSE Russell emerging market index next
week, which could bring billions of dollars of fund inflows.

    Qatar's index lost 0.1 percent, trading at its lowest
in more than five months, weighed down by Qatar National Bank
, and Qatar International Islamic Bank, which
were down 0.7 percent and 2.5 percent respectively. 
    Qatar was one of 2018's best-performing markets globally,
with stocks gaining 21 percent, helped by a lifting of limits on
foreign ownership of shares. But it has lost 5.2 percent this
year.
    "Qatar was overdue for a small correction that would let the
valuation catch up with the price. And that decline is healthy,"
said Talal Samhouri, head of asset management at Amwal LLC.
   
   
 SAUDI ARABIA  The index         slipped 0.2 pct to 8,466
               points
 DUBAI         The index          was down 0.6 pct at 2,578
               points
 QATAR         The index        fell 0.12 pct to 9,769 points
 ABU DHABI     The index        lost 0.9 pct to 4,872 points
 EGYPT         The index          was up 0.5 pct at 14,979
               points
 KUWAIT        The index        was down 0.4 pct at 5,577
               points
 OMAN          The index        lost 0.6 pct to 4,090 points
 BAHRAIN       The index        dropped 0.2 pct to 1,406 points
 
    

 (Reporting by Nafisa Eltahir. Editing by Jane Merriman)
  
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