Gulf bourses end mixed amid volatile oil prices

Investors monitor screens displaying stock information at the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange June 25, 2014. REUTERS/Stringer(UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - Tags: BUSINESS)

Aug 16 (Reuters) - Stock markets in the Gulf ended mixed on Tuesday as oil prices were volatile and corporate news drove trading in some stocks.

Crude prices, a key catalyst for the Gulf's financial markets, rose by about 1%, erasing earlier losses, as the market awaited clarity on talks to revive a deal that could allow more Iranian oil exports, and as bleak economic data from top crude buyer China limited gains.

Saudi Arabia's benchmark index (.TASI) gave up early gains to finish flat.

Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com

The kingdom's consumer price index rose 2.7% in July from a year earlier, government data showed on Monday, accelerating from a 2.3% pace in June. read more

In Abu Dhabi, the index (.FTFADGI) dropped 0.2%, hit by a 1.1% fall in conglomerate International Holding Co (IHC) (IHC.AD) as investors continued to lock in profits.

Shares of IHC, the most valuable company on the Abu Dhabi bourse with a market capitalisation of around $167 billion, have risen over 120% so far this year.

IHC, which straddles sectors from healthcare to real estate to IT and utilities, made 70 acquisitions at a total value of 10 billion dirhams ($2.72 billion) this year.

The Qatari benchmark (.QSI) added 0.4%, with petrochemical maker Industries Qatar (IQCD.QA) advancing 1.2%.

The Qatari stock market was underpinned by a rise in natural gas prices, said Fadi Reyad, Market Analyst at CAPEX.com MENA.

"The high price level could help the market return to an upward trend."

Dubai's main share index (.DFMGI) reversed early losses to close 0.5% higher, buoyed by a 3.2% rise in blue-chip developer Emaar Properties (EMAR.DU).

The board of Emaar Properties, which owns the Dubai Mall, will meet on Thursday to discuss the sale of its e-commerce fashion business, the company said on Monday. read more

The meeting will be held a week after Emaar announced a $2 billion cash and stock buyout of a joint venture partner in one of its real estate projects.

Outside the Gulf, Egypt's blue-chip index (.EGX30) fell 0.7%, dragged down by a 1.3% drop in top lender Commercial International Bank (COMI.CA).

($1 = 3.6727 UAE dirham)

Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com
Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru; Editing by Susan Fenton

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.