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MIDEAST STOCKS-Oil lifts most markets, but global concerns weigh
September 26, 2017 / 1:28 PM / in 2 months

MIDEAST STOCKS-Oil lifts most markets, but global concerns weigh

* Petchems strong in Saudi as Brent nears $60

* Qatar notches 6th session of gains

* Global worries hit shares in UAE, Egypt

By Celine Aswad

DUBAI, Sept 26 (Reuters) - Rising oil prices helped Middle East indexes eke out modest gains on Tuesday, though shares more exposed to foreign funds followed global markets lower, weighed down by a list of worries including North Korea.

Brent oil surged 3.8 percent overnight to settle at $59.02 a barrel after major producers said the global market was on its way to rebalancing, and crude held near that level on Tuesday.

Riyadh’s index rose 0.2 percent as most petrochemical shares advanced, including bellwether Saudi Basic Industries which added 1.4 percent.

The main stock index had dropped 1.4 percent on Monday amid rumours that index compiler FTSE might not upgrade Riyadh to emerging-market status on Sept. 29.

Although no fresh news or reports were released overnight to quash the speculation, investors bought shares that had been hit on Monday including lender Samba Financial Group; it rebounded 0.8 percent on Tuesday regaining some of Monday’s 2.8 percent decline.

Qatar’s stock index climbed 1.4 percent, its largest single-day rise since July 13 as local and regional funds were again net buyers, bourse data showed.

Fund managers from the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council, excluding Qatar, dumped Qatari equities after four Arab states cut ties with Doha in June. It was not clear whether some GCC investors were now buying because they hoped for a resolution of the dispute.

Commodity-linked shares were some of the top performers on Tuesday, with oil and drilling service provider Gulf International Services surging 9.1 percent.

The Dubai index added 0.2 percent as stocks favoured by local day traders were the most active; builder Drake & Scull climbed 2.4 percent.

In Abu Dhabi, Dana Gas rose 1.4 percent, recovering slightly from its steep declines over the last several days, as a London court hearing resumed on Monday on its maturing sukuk issue.

Rising tensions between North Korea and the United States hurt Egyptian shares which are most vulnerable to foreign fund flows; private equity company Qalaa Holdings dropped 5.7 percent.

The main index edged up by 0.2 percent on the back of gains in shares commonly traded by local investors; media conglomerate Orascom Telecom jumped 8.3 percent.

HIGHLIGHTS

SAUDI ARABIA

* The index rebounded 0.2 percent to 7,240 points.

DUBAI

* The index fell 0.2 percent to 3,561 points.

ABU DHABI

* The index added 0.07 percent to 4,414 points.

QATAR

* The index rose 1.4 percent to 8,569 points.

EGYPT

* The index added 0.2 percent to 13,674 points.

KUWAIT

* The index edged down by 0.04 percent to 6,764 points.

BAHRAIN

* The index lost 0.07 percent to 1,291 points.

OMAN

* The index fell 0.3 percent to 5,114 points. (Editing by Andrew Heavens)

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