Mideast Stocks: Saudi hurt by petrochemicals, most of Gulf moves little

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(Reuters) – Saudi Arabia’s stock market edged down in early trade on Wednesday, pressured by petrochemical shares, while most major Gulf markets were little changed.

The Saudi index <.TASI> was down 0.3 percent after an hour with heavyweight Saudi Basic Industries <2010.SE> dropping 1.4 percent and Saudi Kayan Petrochemical <2350.SE> losing 2.7 percent.

Saudi Industrial Export <4140.SE> dived 9.9 percent; it has been plunging for the past six days, after a speculative bubble in the stock pushed it up over 200 percent since early October.

The Dubai index <.DFMGI> was little changed with Union Properties <UPRO.DU> losing 3.3 percent. But Arabtec <ARTC.DU> rose 1.8 percent after saying it was progressing with the refinancing of its debt.

Dubai Investments <DINV.DU> snapped a five-day losing streak to add 2.1 percent.

Nasdaq-Dubai listed DP World <DPW.DI> lost 2.7 percent in light trade. India’s antitrust regulator has ordered a probe into alleged anti-competitive practices by the firm and Denmark’s A.P. Moller-Maersk <MAERSKb.CO> at the terminals they operate in Mumbai, Reuters reported, citing sources familiar with the matter.

DP World said it had not received any formal communication from the CCI, but added it has “always been committed to ensuring our business meets the highest standards, complying with all laws and regulations”.

The Abu Dhabi index <.ADI> dropped 0.6 percent as fuel distribution firm ADNOC Distribution <ADNO.AD> lost 2.1 percent.

Qatar’s index <.QSI>, which suffered its biggest fall since August in the last session, was flat. Qatar Insurance <QINS.QA> shed 0.4 percent and Gulf International Services <GISS.QA> dropped 1.8 percent.

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