September 13, 2018 / 1:18 PM / 2 months ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi falls to six-month low, Qatar at 16-month high

* Saudi still far outperforming emerging markets year-to-date

* MedGulf falls back after surge on rights issue

* Mesaieed Petrochemical climbs in Qatar

* Kuwait continues uptrend on FTSE Russell index entry

* Property stocks remain weak in Egypt

By Andrew Torchia

DUBAI, Sept 13 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia’s stock market fell to a six-month low on Thursday, missing out on a wider emerging markets rebound, but Qatar continued rising to a fresh 16-month high.

The MSCI emerging market index was up 1.1 percent but the Saudi index closed 0.6 percent lower at 7,591 points, with losers outnumbering gainers by 107 to 56.

The Saudi market is still up 5 percent year-to-date, far outperforming a 12 percent drop by the emerging market index. But individual investors have been net sellers of Saudi stocks for most of the past several weeks while institutions have become more cautious because of instability in emerging markets and global trade tensions.

Top petrochemical firm Saudi Basic Industries fell 1.2 percent while Sahara Petrochemical lost 1.1 percent after announcing an emergency shutdown of an affiliate for as much as 17 days because of power outages; it estimated this could cost 23.3 million riyals ($6.2 million) in profits.

Insurer MedGulf sank 7.4 percent after surging on the two previous days because shareholders were entitled to a discounted rights issue, as of end-Wednesday.

Saudi Paper rose 1.4 percent, however, as it resumed trading after a suspension of two days due to a capital decrease.

In Qatar, the index edged up 0.3 percent in modest trading volume, buoyed by a 1.3 percent gain by Mesaieed Petrochemical, which has risen in the past few days on the back of Brent oil’s climb near $80 a barrel.

Kuwait’s blue chip index, in an uptrend for the past two weeks ahead of Kuwait’s partial entry into FTSE Russell’s emerging market index on Sept. 24, rose 0.4 percent.

But in Egypt, the index sank 1.2 percent, dragged down by weakness in real estate stocks, which have been under pressure since emerging market currency turmoil that began a month ago constrained the Egyptian central bank’s room to ease monetary policy.

United Arab Emirates markets were closed for a public holiday.

SAUDI ARABIA * The index fell 0.6 percent to 7,591 points.

QATAR * The index rose 0.3 percent to 10,022 points.

EGYPT * The index fell 1.1 percent to 15,326 points.

KUWAIT * The index climbed 0.4 percent to 5,349 points.

BAHRAIN * The index added 0.3 percent to 1,345 points.

OMAN * The index rose 0.6 percent to 4,559 points. (Reporting by Andrew Torchia Editing by Toby Davis)

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