Mideast stocks edge down at opening

Published: September 13, 2018 15:43:08 | Updated: September 15, 2018 11:29:43

Mideast stocks edged down at opening session on Thursday, the last trading day of the week, missing out on a wider emerging markets rebound.

The MSCI emerging market index was up 0.9 per cent but the Saudi index slipped 0.5 per cent in the first 45 minutes, with losers outnumbering gainers by 98 to 33.

Individual investors have been net sellers of Saudi stocks for most of the past several weeks while institutions have become more cautious because of the instability in emerging markets and global trade tensions, reports Reuters.

Insurer MedGulf sank 5.3 per cent after surging on the two previous days because shareholders as of end-Wednesday were entitled to a discounted rights issue.

Sahara Petrochemical lost 1.7 per cent after announcing an emergency shutdown of one of its affiliates for as much as 17 days because of power outages; it estimated this could cost 23.3 million riyals ($6.2 million) in profits.

Saudi Paper rose 5.3 per cent, however, as it resumed trading after a suspension of two days due to a capital decrease.

In Qatar, the index was flat after closing on Wednesday at a 16-month high. Kuwait’s blue chip index, in an uptrend for the past two weeks ahead of Kuwait’s partial entry into FTSE Russell’s emerging market index on Sept. 24, rose 0.3 per cent.

United Arab Emirates markets were closed for a public holiday.

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