• Gulf stock markets edge lower


    Gulf stock markets edge lower
    The Saudi index fell for a first day in four as Samba Financial Group extended losses, dropping 1.7 percent.
    Yet the longer-term trend remains positive, said Hesham Abo-Jamee, Bakheet Investment Group head of asset management, with petrochemicals and banks - the two dominant sectors on the bourse - expected to report a quarter-on-quarter rise in fourth-quarter profit.
    "Bank profits should increase 15 percent after they take lower provisions," said Abo-Jamee. "Bank shares have fallen sharply, but they are ready to rebound next year."
    These expectations are spurring some investors to take positions now, he added.
    The Tadawul All-Share Index (TASI) fell 0.22 percent to close at 6,318.5 points. The sector activity for the day was mostly negative with 10 losing sectors against 5 gaining sectors. The gaining sectors ranged from 0.15 percent by the Multi-Investment sector to 0.59 percent by the Retail sector. On the other hand the losing sectors ranged from 0.08 percent by the Insurance sector to 0.64 percent by the Transport sector. The overall market breadth for the day was negative with 31 advancers against 87 decliners giving it an AD ratio of 0.35, the Financial Transaction House (FTH) said in its daily market report.
    The liquidity for the day reached SR1.74 billion.
    In Doha, Masraf Al-Rayan fell 0.6 percent and Qatar Navigation lost 0.9 percent as traders awaited Thursday's FIFA vote to decide the decide the host nation for the 2022 soccer World Cup. Qatar is competing against the United States, Australia, Japan and North Korea.
    "If Qatar wins, then there will definitely be some upside," says Robert Pramberger, acting head of asset management at Doha-based investment company The First Investor.
    Dubai's index fell 0.4 percent to 1,669 points as investors await news from Dubai Holding. The group, owned by Dubai's ruler, has two loans totaling $1.8 billion maturing on Tuesday.

    Another debut stock, Aluminium Bahrain ended at 0.915 dinars in Manama, slightly above its IPO price of 0.900 dinars. The stock opened at 1.050 dinars, before giving back most of these gains.
    The Kuwaiti index eased 0.3 percent to 6,891 points, Qatari index declined 0.2 percent to 8,142 points. , Omani index dropped 0.2 percent to 6,592 points., while Bahraini index eased 0.06 percent to 1,438 points.

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