Gulf equities fall early, lack direction ahead of holiday

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DUBAI (Reuters) – Gulf equity markets were mostly flat to lower in early trade on Thursday, lacking momentum ahead of a long holiday next week when markets will be mostly closed for the Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha.

Seven stocks traded in Abu Dhabi. First Abu Dhabi Bank , the largest bank in the United Arab Emirates, was the only gainer in the market and helped support the benchmark to remain in positive territory.

Dubai’s index was flat with bluechip stocks mixed in trading. Dubai’s biggest lender Emirates NBD was down 1.8 percent amid continued concerns among investors about its deal in May to buy Turkey’s Denizbank in a $3.2 billion deal.

Meanwhile, the emirate’s biggest developer Emaar Properties was up 1.2 percent. It reported earlier this week a 2 percent rise in second-quarter net profit after the impact of the public listing of its development business.

Saudi Arabia, the region’s biggest stock market by capitalization, was down 0.3 percent led by banks and commodity stocks.

Banque Saudi Fransi was down 1.3 percent and Samba Financial Group was down 0.3 percent. Saudi Arabian Mining company (Maaden) was down 0.7 percent and Savola Group (2050.SE), Saudi Arabia’s largest food products company was down 0.8 percent.

Read more >>Saudi Arabia’s stock index opened slightly lower as Saudi Basic Industries Corp

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