Mideast stocks – Oil boosts Gulf petchems but markets mostly sluggish

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Petrochemical firms and other oil-related stocks rose in the Gulf early on Tuesday after the Brent crude price surged almost 3 percent to around $85 a barrel overnight, but most stocks in the region were sluggish as emerging markets slumped globally.

The Saudi Arabian index <.TASI> was up 0.1 percent after an hour of trading, with 11 of 14 petrochemical stocks gaining. Saudi Basic Industries <2010.SE> rose 0.5 percent.

The Dubai index <.DFMGI> dipped 0.5 percent, pulled down by real estate stocks on profit-taking after the sector had rebounded moderately in the last few days. Emaar Properties <EMAR.DU> slid 1.9 percent.

Loss-making construction firm Drake and Scull <DSI.DU>, which has plunged more than 80 percent this year, jumped 10 percent in heavy trade ahead of a planned shareholder meeting on Thursday that is expected to discuss ways to strengthen the company.

In Qatar, the index <.QSI> edged up just 0.3 percent but petrochemical producer Industries Qatar <IQCD.QA> rose 1.2 percent in unusually heavy trade.

Drilling rig provider Gulf International Services <GISS.QA> was heading for its sixth straight gain, up 1.8 percent; rising oil prices have boosted it more than 13 percent since mid-September.

(Reuters)

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