August 27, 2018 / 8:17 AM / a month ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi rises, other markets mixed amid muted trading

RIYADH, Aug 27 (Reuters) - The Saudi market rose on Monday morning, heading for its second consecutive increase, backed by solid gains on selected stocks even though trading volumes were low in Gulf market after last week’s closure for the Muslim festival of Eid Al Adha.

The Saudi index rose 0.8 percent, after jumping 1.4 percent on Sunday, with gainers outnumbering losers by 84 to 33; however, trading volume remained close to its lowest levels this year.

Jabal Omar jumped 4.4 percent after it announced earlier on Monday selling 90 residential units in its second phase of its flagship project in Mecca to Al Bilad Hospitality Fund for 1.15 billion riyals ($306.7 million) and said the deal would reflect positively on second quarter financial statements.

Saudi Telecom rose 3.3 percent and Saudi Cement added 2.8 percent.

The market, which has added 11.3 percent in the year-to-date, has been buoyed by inflows of foreign funds in anticipation of Riyadh joining emerging market indexes next year. Recent exchange data indicates those inflows have slowed but not halted as stock valuations have risen.

Trading remains generally subdued in other Gulf markets as some investors are still on holiday.

In Dubai, the index lost 0.4 percent, as Emirates NBD lost 2.5 percent and property developer Emaar shed 0.8 percent.

Abu Dhabi index rose 0.5 percent, mainly on a 1.7 percent increase by First Abu Dhabi Bank; but trading was muted with only 3 gainers and less than 20 losers in early trading.

Qatar’s index jumped 1.6 percent on banks solid gains, as Qatar National Bank added 3.6 percent, Qatar Islamic Bank 2.0 percent and Masraf al Rayan 1.1 percent. (Reporting by Marwa Rashad; Editing by Alison Williams)

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