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Investors book profits in Gulf markets

dubai stocksInvestors in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Qatar booked profits for a second day on Monday as global markets remained gloomy and tension grew between Russia and the West over Ukraine. But all three bourses later recovered to different degrees.

After opening slightly higher, the three bourses dipped along with Asian and European markets as Ukraine threatened military action against pro-Russian separatists occupying government buildings in the east of the country.

However, towards the end of the day the Gulf markets started recovering and they closed well off their intra-day lows.

Dubai’s index, which dived as much as 2.2 percent to 4,656 points during the session, closed up 0.08 percent at 4,763 points as renewed buying lifted heavyweight Emaar Properties 0.5 percent. Several Dubai property and construction names also rose.

Abu Dhabi’s bourse closed down 0.6 percent at 5,134 points after dipping 1.5 percent to 5,083 points during the day. Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank recovered from an intra-day loss to close flat as National Bank of Abu Dhabi edged down 0.3 percent.

Qatar’s index was down 0.7 percent at 12,144 points, having recovered from an intra-day low of 12,046 points.

Shares in Qatar Gas Transport Co (Nakilat) rose 2.3 percent to 21.59 riyals on higher-than-average volume. The stock has lagged the wider market, gaining just 4.3 percent this year against 17 percent for the index.

Saudi Arabia’s bourse edged up 0.2 percent after slipping in the previous three sessions. Saudi Chemical Co led the gains and jumped 9.1 percent after its first-quarter profit rose 3 percent.

Yanbu National Petrochemical Co (Yansab) dropped 1.4 percent after it missed the average forecast of analysts and posted a 16.7 percent decline in first-quarter net profit.

The firm, a subsidiary of Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC), made a profit of 555.7 million riyals ($148.2 million) in the quarter, against 773.7 million riyals expected by seven analysts in a Reuters poll. Shares in SABIC were down 2.8 percent.

Kuwait’s main index slid 0.9 percent to 7,495 points with both large- and small-caps in decline.

Shares in Gulf Bank fell 1.3 percent after it posted a 10 percent increase in first-quarter net profit to 8.73 million dinars ($31.1 million). Analysts at Global Research and Arqaam Capital had forecast a net profit in the period of 9 million and 10 million dinars respectively.-Reuters