May 20, 2018 / 8:21 AM / 5 months ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Jabal Omar up in Saudi, Drake and Scull heavily traded in Dubai

DUBAI, May 20 (Reuters) - Gulf stock markets were mixed in early Sunday trading in light volumes, with Dubai dragged down by real estate developer Emaar and the Saudi exchange trading up, supported by last week’s gains in oil prices.

Brent crude futures fell 79 cents, or 1 percent, to settle at $78.51 a barrel on Friday, but prices had logged a sixth week of gains and broke through $80 a barrel last week for the first time since November 2014.

In Saudi Arabia, where the index was up 0.5 percent after one hour of trading, most companies in the oil and gas and petrochemical sectors were higher, with Saudi Kayan Petrochemical up 0.6 percent.

Real estate developer Jabal Omar Development was among the best performers, up 6.1 percent, after announcing an agreement with Albilad Capital to sell 90 housing units for 1.1 billion riyals ($293 million).

The Dubai index was down 0.2 percent, with real estate companies such as Emaar Properties lower as continued concerns about the impact of ample supply of new homes weigh on the sector.

Building contractor Drake and Scull International was by far the most traded stock in the market, and was up 1.7 percent in the first hour. The contractor reported last week a net profit attributable to shareholders of 16.2 million dirhams ($4.4 million) for the first quarter, swinging from a net loss of 722.5 million dirhams in the corresponding period last year.

In Abu Dhabi, where trading volumes were very low and the index down 0.3 percent, Eshraq Properties was among the most traded stock and was up 1.4 percent after announcing last week it had swung to profit in the first quarter.

($1 = 3.6728 UAE dirham)

$1 = 3.7502 riyals Reporting by Davide Barbuscia; Editing by Mark Potter

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