Gulf stock markets edge lower in early trade

Stock markets in the Gulf edged down in early trade on Tuesday as soft oil prices dampened the mood while Saudi Arabia’s index was dragged 0.3 per cent lower by disappointing quarterly corporate results. Etihad Etisalat slumped 2.1 per cent. The Saudi telecommunications operator reported it had swung to a net profit of 18.8 million […]

Stock markets in the Gulf edged down in early trade on Tuesday as soft oil prices dampened the mood while Saudi Arabia’s index was dragged 0.3 per cent lower by disappointing quarterly corporate results.

Etihad Etisalat slumped 2.1 per cent. The Saudi telecommunications operator reported it had swung to a net profit of 18.8 million Saudi riyals in the second quarter from a loss of 901m riyals in the prior-year period; analysts polled by Reuters had on average forecast a quarterly profit of 52.5m riyals.

Construction firm Abdullah Abdul Mohsin Al Khodari and Sons tumbled 3.1 per cent after it said it swung to a net loss of 43.34m riyals in the second quarter as earnings were pressured once again by the slowdown in the kingdom’s building sector. EFG Hermes had forecast a loss of 16m riyals.

Most petrochemical shares pulled back as Brent oil futures traded near 11-week lows. But National Industrialization Company climbed 1.1 per cent after it swung to a quarterly net profit of 103.9m riyals, beating analysts’ forecasts for a net loss of 1.2m riyals and ending a run of five straight losses. But sales fell 9.5 per cent in the quarter.

Saudi Basic Industries traded up 0.3 per cent. On Monday Sabic announced that it was studying a proposal for a jointly owned petrochemicals complex on the United States’ Gulf coast with an affiliate of US Exxon Mobil.

The insurance sector was bullish after a string of quarterly results spurred interest. Saudi Indian Company for Cooperative Insurance surged 4.4 per cent after reporting a 774 per cent jump in second-quarter profit before zakat (tax) to 4.48m riyals. The company cited rising revenues.

Elsewhere, Dubai’s index slipped 0.4 per cent as Dubai Financial Market dropped 1.5 per cent after the Gulf’s only listed bourse reported a 60 per cent fall in second-quarter net profit to Dh53.5m. DFM said the value of shares traded on the market in the first six months of 2016 was down 32.7 per cent year-on-year.

In neighbouring Abu Dhabi, the index fell 0.7 per cent, weighed down by a 1.8 per cent pull-back in Dana Gas.

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Source: Business

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