• Saudi at 12-week low, tracks dip in oil


    Saudi at 12-week low, tracks dip in oil

    Saudi Arabia's index TASI fell to a fresh 12-week low, extending losses after US crude dipped to a four-month low on Friday.
    A dimmer US economic outlook drove crude to its biggest weekly loss since early May.
    The Saudi benchmark slipped 0.9 percent to 6,443 points, its lowest close since March 23 and fourth straight decline.
    Banking and petrochemical stocks, representing the two largest sectors on the exchange, booked losses.
    Bellwether Saudi Basic Industries Corp dropped 1 percent, Saudi Kayan Petrochemicals shed 1.1 percent and Saudi Arabian Fertilizers Co declined 0.8 percent.
    Al Rajhi Bank, the largest listed lender, fell 2.1 percent. Other banks also slid.
    Speculators lifted Qatar's Barwa Real Estate to a month high, helping support the index.
    "Institutional traders are on the sidelines, waiting for the next two days," said Hani Girgis, assistant chief dealer at Dlala brokerage.
    Index compiler MSCI will announce its verdict late Tuesday on whether Qatar and UAE are included in the emerging market index. Barwa gained 3 percent and most large-caps also edge higher.
    Qatar National Bank and Qatar Islamic Bank were up 0.07 and 0.4 percent.
    The benchmark QSI climbed 0.2 percent to 8,335 points, up in five of past seven sessions.
    Trading volumes in Kuwait fell to their lowest in more than two years, with investors concerned about the launch of a new trading platform.
    The bourse signed up to implement the Nasdaq OMX trading platform in the first half of 2011, said a Kuwait-based trader says on condition of anonymity.
    "Investors are not happy with how the whole process is going and people think the market will tank so you have a day like today with low volumes," the trader said .
    Hurdles to implement the new system include annual fees, the need for additional capital and lack of preparation on part of the brokerages, he added.
    Kuwait's index KWSE slipped 0.4 percent to 6,313 points, down 1 percent in June.
    Telecom operator Zain fell 1.9 percent, Kuwait International Bank was down 1.5 percent and contractor Mabanee Company slipped 1.1 percent. Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank helped lift the UAE capital's index after saying it will record a net profit of AED1bn ($272.3m) from the sale of its 25 percent stake in Malaysian lender RHB Capital.
    ADCB gained 1.9 percent, hitting a 24-month high. It was up 11.9 percent in June.
    Abu Dhabi's index climbed 0.5 percent to close at 2,775 points, its highest close since November 2010.
    Dubai's benchmark DFM slipped 0.1 percent to 1,599 points.
    Saudi Arabia's index TASI was near-flat, but petrochemicals extended losses after US crude oil fell to a four-month low on Friday.
    A dimmer USeconomic outlook drove crude to its biggest weekly loss since early May.
    "A lot of weakness in Saudi petrochemical names will be mitigated by the temporary solution on the Greek debt situation," says Robert McKinnon, ASAS Capital chief investment officer.
    The petrochemical index slipped 0.3 percent, with Saudi Kayan Petrochemicals down 0.5 percent and heavyweight Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) off 0.3 percent.
    The main benchmark climbed 0.05 percent to 6,504 points, steadying after declining in the previous three sessions.
    Banking stocks supported, with heavyweight lenders Al Rajhi Bank and Samba Financial Group up 0.3 and 0.5 percent respectively.

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