July 2, 2018 / 1:47 PM / 3 months ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Oil price hit Saudi market, Dubai hurt by property stocks

* SABIC, financials see profit taking in Saudi

* Saudi index still up 14 pct year-to-date

* DAMAC Properties, Drake & Scull weigh on Dubai

By Saeed Azhar

DUBAI, July 2 (Reuters) - An oil price slump hit Saudi stocks, the Gulf’s best performing market this year, on Monday while the Dubai exchange gave up its early gains due to renewed selling of property stocks.

Oil prices fell following comments from the White House that the leader of Saudi Arabia promised President Donald Trump that he can raise oil production if needed.

The Saudi index fell 0.8 percent, with petrochemicals firm SABIC falling 1.6 percent, while refiner Petro Rabigh also dropped 1.6 percent.

Selling went beyond energy, hitting financial stocks such as Samba Financial Group which dropped almost 2 percent.

Despite the slide, the Saudi index is still up 14 percent so far this year, fuelled by fund flows ahead of MSCI’s decision to add Riyadh to its emerging market benchmark.

However, Dubai was hit by fresh selling, which had shown some recovery during the last two sessions after snapping an 11-day losing streak on Thursday.

Investors remain concerned about exposure of Dubai-listed companies to troubled private equity firm Abraaj which this month filed for provisional liquidation.

The Dubai index dropped 1.2 percent, hit by a 1.9 percent drop in DAMAC Properties and a 1.6 percent slump in Emaar Properties .

Contractor Drake & Scull continued to weigh on the market, falling almost 9.9 percent, bringing its year-to-date losses to more than 70 percent.

The stock has been hit by concerns about its business outlook, constant rumours on whether some of its top shareholders are committed to the stock and ongoing investigations against its previous management.

In Abu Dhabi, First Abu Dhabi Bank dropped 2 percent and Eshraq Properties slumped 9.4 percent as investors took profit after the stock’s jump a day earlier.

The gains came after the firm had said it was seeking to deploy “excess liquidity” in investments across the United Arab Emirates, after dropping merger plans with Abu Dhabi developer Reem Investments.

Abu Dhabi’s index closed almost 1 percent lower.

The Qatar index recovered from early losses to end 0.3 percent higher, helped by a 0.9 percent gain in Industries Qatar which rose 0.9 percent.

SAUDI ARABIA

* The index fell 0.8 percent to 8,275 points.

DUBAI

* The index fell 1.2 percent to 2,829 points.

ABU DHABI

* The index fell by almost 1 percent to 4,577 points.

QATAR

* The index rose 0.3 percent to 9,142 points.

KUWAIT

* The index added 0.2 percent to 4,926 points.

BAHRAIN

* The index was down 0.3 percent to 1,310 points.

OMAN

* The index fell 0.1 percent to 4,556 points.

EGYPT

* The index was flat at 16,362 points.

Editing by Alexander Smith

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