Gulf stock marts mixed

JEDDAH/DUBAI — Dubai's stock index rose above technical resistance on Monday, suggesting a long period of underperformance compared with the region and other emerging markets might be ending, while a bank going ex-dividend helped to pull down Saudi Arabia's market.

In Saudi Arabia, the index fell 0.8 percent as Banque Saudi Fransi, which had added 1.4 percent on Sunday, went ex-dividend and tumbled 5.5 percent.

Petrochemical maker Yansab sank 1.7 percent after it reported a 54 percent year-on-year plunge in second-quarter net profit, despite an increase in some prices. It cited a temporary shutdown of some facilities for maintenance and higher feedstock prices.

The Dubai index gained 0.8 percent to 3,602 points, eclipsing its April peak of 3,573 points. The next, strong resistance is at 3,737-9 points, the January and February peaks.

Islamic Arab Insurance, the market's most active stock, climbed 3.4 percent in unusually heavy trade, accounting for about a quarter of all volume. It has been trading near record lows and, with a price below half a dirham, is easily moved by short-term speculators.

DAMAC Properties, which has been surging to record highs in the past week, added a further 3.8 percent.

Abu Dhabi's index was also strong, climbing 1.1 percent as the biggest bank, First Abu Dhabi Bank , which is due to report earnings in coming weeks, surged 2.8 percent.

Qatar's index rose 1.0 percent as drilling rig provider Gulf International Services, the most heavily traded stock, gained 2.5 percent. It has been in an uptrend from near multi-year lows since Qatar outlined plans to boost its gas production a couple of weeks ago.

Gulf Warehousing surged 4.7 percent in heavy trade. After initially falling when other Arab states cut diplomatic and transport ties with Qatar on June 5, it has rebounded strongly as the Qatari government has ploughed money into developing new trade routes, which could benefit the firm.

Egypt's blue-chip index also rose 1.0 percent on the back of a few low-priced stocks such as real estate firm Porto group, which surged 7.9 percent. The broader EGX100 index was marginally lower. — SG/Reuters