September 3, 2018 / 1:50 PM / 15 days ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Region mostly weak but Saudi ends three-day losing streak

* Emerging markets slip on global trade fears

* Dubai’s Drake & Scull hits record low

* Abu Dhabi’s Union National Bank up; report says merger possible

* Saudi Basic Industries rebounds from technical support

* Saudi Steel Pipes jumps again on hope for strategic investor

By Andrew Torchia

DUBAI, Sept 3 (Reuters) - Middle East stock markets mostly fell on Monday on concerns that trade disputes involving the United States could hurt the global economy, although Saudi Arabia rebounded slightly from a three-day losing streak.

The trade jitters prompted a 0.9 percent slide in MSCI’s emerging market index, which deterred buying of stocks in the Middle East.

“The global economic situation is worrying for the markets - wealth managers have been reducing exposure to equities over the past month. That’s why negative sentiment is spreading across the region,” said Mazen al-Sudairi, head of research at Al Rajhi Capital in Riyadh.

Dubai’s index fell 0.4 percent in a broad-based decline with losers outnumbering gainers by 22 to seven. Loss-making construction firm Drake & Scull slipped 1.6 percent to a record low.

In Abu Dhabi, the index edged down only 0.1 percent, partly because of a 4.3 percent rise by Union National Bank .

Bloomberg quoted unnamed sources as saying Abu Dhabi authorities were exploring the possibility of merging UNB, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank and privately held Al Hilal Bank; rumours of such a plan have circulated for over a year. ADCB shares edged up 0.6 percent.

In Qatar, the index slid 0.7 percent as the most heavily traded stock, real estate firm Ezdan Holding, tumbled 5.5 percent.

Saudi Arabia’s index, however, rose 0.4 percent as the biggest stock, Saudi Basic Industries, climbed 0.6 percent to 125.60 riyals, rebounding from technical support on its 100-day average, now at 123.32 riyals. The stock has held above the average since last November.

Saudi Steel Pipes (SSP) jumped 7.7 percent, bringing its gains in the last two trading days to 18 percent. Investors are hoping for a fresh strategic investment in the firm, a supplier to national oil firm Saudi Aramco. Late last week SSP said a memorandum of understanding between a shareholder group and a potential strategic investor had been extended for one month.

In Egypt, the index fell 0.2 percent as Global Telecom lost a further 1.6 percent. On Sunday, the stock plunged 13.5 percent after the company said minority shareholders might not approve an offer from shareholder VEON to acquire its assets in Pakistan and Bangladesh.

SAUDI ARABIA * The index rose 0.4 percent to 7,942 points.

DUBAI * The index fell 0.4 percent to 2,830 points.

ABU DHABI * The index edged down 0.1 percent to 4,938 points.

QATAR * The index dropped 0.7 percent to 9,800 points.

KUWAIT * The index sank 0.9 percent to 5,225 points.

BAHRAIN * The index lost 0.2 percent to 1,335 points.

OMAN * The index dropped 0.2 percent 4,428 points.

EGYPT * The index slipped 0.2 percent to 15,822 points. (Reporting by Andrew Torchia; Editing by Susan Fenton)

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