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DUBAI, Sept 16, 2018 (News Wires) - Gulf stocks were mostly lower on Sunday morning, with Saudi Arabia under pressure after closing at a six-month low in the previous session and Dubai hit by continued selling in contractor Drake; Scull International.

Declines in key blue-chip stocks pushed down the Saudi market by 0.2 percent in early trade.

Shares of top petrochemical firm Saudi Basic Industries were down 0.3 percent and refining firm Petro Rabigh fell 0.9 percent.

Banks were also weak.

JPMorgan said in its weekly report on Middle East and North Africa that recent earnings data in Gulf countries had generally been positive, but emerging market volatility continued to weigh on regional markets.

Saudi Real Estate, however, was up 5 percent after its unit Al Widyan Co awarded a 1.1 billion riyals ($293 million) contract to a company to develop key infrastructure on a site in the northern growth corridor of Riyadh.

The Dubai index was down 0.4 percent, hurt by continued weakness in DSI, which fell 3.7 percent and hit a record low 0.376 dirhams ($0.1024) in early trading.

DSI stock plunged 10 percent on Wednesday after the company said shareholders would meet Sept. 27 to decide whether to dissolve it, under an article of United Arab Emirates company law requiring firms to vote on whether they should continue operating if their accumulated losses have reached half of issued share capital.

Even a supporting statement from key shareholder Tabarak failed to lift sentiment.

Tabarak Investment, DSI's biggest shareholder with 13.73 percent, told Reuters in statement at the weekend it was committed to restoring DSI to financial health, and had arranged for the company to obtain over 1 billion dirhams of projects.

Dubai's top stock, Emaar Properties, was also down 1.2 percent in early trade.

The Abu Dhabi index was up 0.6 percent, supported by Abu Dhabi National Energy which was trading 4.4 percent higher, while market heavyweight First Abu Dhabi Bank also gained 0.8 percent.

In Qatar, the index dropped 0.7 percent, easing from a 16-month high in the previous session, as blue-chip stocks traded lower. Industries Qatar dropped 0.9 percent and Masraf Al Rayan fell 0.3 percent.

Kuwaiti stocks continued to outperform Gulf markets ahead of the first part of their inclusion into the FTSE Russell emerging market index on Sept. 24. The premier index was up 0.4 percent in early trade, taking year-to-date gains of 11.6 percent.

($1 = 3.7506 riyals)
($1 = 3.6730 UAE dirham

LONDON, Sept 14, 2018 (News Wires) - World stocks hit their highest levels in over a week on Friday as expectations grew that the United States and China would open new trade talks, while an interest rate hike in Turkey supported the lira and global risk appetite.

The MSCI All-Country World index, which tracks shares in 47 countries, was up 0.4 percent on the day by afternoon trade in Europe. It had earlier risen as much as half a percent on the day, touching its highest since September 4.

Led by technology and auto stocks, the pan-European STOXX 600 index was up 0.2 percent, set for its best weekly gains in seven weeks.

Tech stocks rose 0.4 percent after Apple gained on Wall Street following Europe's close on Thursday. Wall Street was set to open higher on Friday, futures indicated.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan gained 1.2 percent. Australian shares were up 0.6 percent, Seoul's Kospi rose 1.4 percent and Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 1 percent. Japan's Nikkei stock index was 1.2 percent higher.

Chinese shares fell, despite a short-lived bump from data that showed forecast-topping industrial output and retail sales data for August.

Other data showed real estate investment in the country fell in August, raising concern that a cooling property market could increase risks for China's economic outlook as the trade environment worsens.

China's benchmark Shanghai Composite index was down 0.2 percent and the blue-chip CSI300 index rose 0.2 percent.

Chinese officials welcomed an invitation from U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to new talks. But President Donald Trump tempered market expectations, tweeting on Thursday that Washington is "under no pressure to make a deal with China" .

The Trump administration is readying a final list of $200 billion worth of Chinese imports that it plans to levy tariffs on in coming days. That move would mark an escalation in the trade war and could significantly slow global growth.

"While the potential for a trade deal in the near-term remains low, a resumption of dialogue could lift sentiment and support markets, in our view," analysts at Credit Suisse wrote in a note to clients.

On Friday, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said the current world trade system was not perfect and Beijing supported reforms to it, including to the World Trade Organisation, to make it fairer and more effective.

Uncertainty around the global outlook for trade was highlighted by the European Central Bank, which on Thursday kept policy unchanged as expected and warned that risks from protectionism were growing.

A sharp interest rate increase by Turkey's central bank to support a tumbling lira boosted risk appetite in emerging markets. The bank hiked its benchmark interest rate by 625 basis points, to 24 percent.

Currency crises in both Turkey and Argentina have stoked fears of contagion over the past several weeks, hammering emerging market assets from Indonesia to India to South Africa.

After rising as high as 6.1442 to the dollar, the lira eased to 6.1025 on Friday.

Turkish lira implied volatility gauges fell to their lowest levels in more than a month, as sentiment continued to improve .

"The bold decision (by Turkey's central bank) reduces the risk that a full-scale financial crisis may unfold," wrote analysts at Rabobank in a note to clients.

"That said, it's only the first step and we remain of the view that a rate hike on its own may not prove sufficient to lead to a sustainable recovery in the lira. The central bank´s efforts must be accompanied by an implementation of constructive macro prudential policies by the administration."

The euro hit a two-week high, extending Thursday's gains, after comments from ECB President Mario Draghi that focused on healthy domestic fundamentals, including rapid growth in employment and a rise in wages .

The pound reached a six-week high of $1.3139, up 0.3 percent and set for its second biggest weekly rise of 2018.

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney told ministers Britain's property market could crash and mortgage rates spiral up if there was a chaotic no-deal Brexit, the Times newspaper reported.

The dollar eased 0.1 percent against the yen to 111.89 .

U.S. crude was 0.4 percent higher at $68.82 a barrel as Hurricane Florence approached the U.S. east coast. Brent crude rose 0.1 percent to $78.23 per barrel.

Spot gold gained nearly half a percent to $1205.36 per ounce.

Staff report:

CAIRO, July 16, 2018 – The local stock exchange ended Monday in the red driven by sell-offs by foreigners.

The bourse's main index EGX30 fell by 1.18 per cent to 15,655.89 points. The small and mid cap EGX70 shed 7.48 points or 0.97 per cent to close at 762.28 points., while the broader index EGX100 lost 1.2 per cent to close at 1,956.91.

Market capitalisation lost about LE7.6b to close at LE878.2b amid transactions that hit LE799.3b.

In the United Arab Emirates, The Dubai Financial Market General Index (DFMGI) gained 0.67 per cent or 19.30 points to close at 2,919.46 points, meanwhile Abu Dhabi index gained 1.08 per cent or 50.89 points to close at 4,747.09 points.

In Saudi Arabia, TASI index gained 85.66 points or 1.02 per cent to close at 8,490.75 points.

The Bahrain BSEX index gained 0.60 per cent or 8.03 per cent to close at 1,351.87. Meanwhile, the Omani MSM30 index lost 0.18 per cent or 8.0 points to close at 4,448.77 points.

CAIRO, July 10, 2018 - The Egyptian Exchange (EGX) indexes posted collective gains at the end of Tuesday's session, backed by purchases by institutions and local investment funds while the Arab and foreign investors favoured sell-off.

The market capital gained about LE6.5 billion to reach LE887.5 billion amid transactions exceeding LE1.4 billion.

The EGX30 benchmark index went up by 0.86 per cent to close at 15,921.03 points.The small and medium cap index EGX 70 increased by 0.54 per cent to 779.63 points, while the broader index EGX100 was up by 0.81 per cent to close at 1,993.33.

LONDON/ WASHINGTON, July 6, 2018 (News Wires) - Global stock markets wobbled Friday as China and the United States fired the first shots in a trade war that pits the world's two biggest economies against each other.

The euro rose against the dollar, while oil prices fell.

US President Donald Trump on Friday rolled out tariffs on $34 billion of Chinese goods in what Beijing called the "largest trade war" in economic history.

China added it had already imposed retaliatory measures on US goods without immediately providing precise details.

"By imposing tariffs on $34bn worth of US imports from China today and eliciting an immediate like-for-like response from China, US President Donald Trump is bringing the world close to a genuine trade war," said Holger Schmieding, chief economist at Berenberg.

European stocks drifted lower in the afternoon, having opened mixed, while Wall Street, too, came off to a weaker start, shrugging off a solid US jobs report.

Earlier, Asian markets saw some gains as investors went bargain-hunting, dealers reported.

Tokyo stocks led the gains in Asia, closing 1.1 percent higher, with markets in Shanghai and Hong Kong up by around half a percentage point.

Li Daxiao, analyst at Yingda Securities, said news of the tariffs had already been priced in.

"After the US tariffs announcement, the negative news finally came out and has already been digested over recent weeks. Therefore investors are not in as much of a panic as before, and the market sentiment will reverse," said Li.

Stanley Chik, from Bright Smart Securities International in Hong Kong, said that "the impact of tariffs on economic growth appears limited for now, giving the market a breathing spell."

But these could be just the first skirmishes in a long war, with financial markets worried about a knock-on effect on the wider global economy and the broader trading system.

Trump has threatened to impose tariffs on some $450 billion of Chinese goods -- virtually all of China's exports to the US -- as he seeks to advance his "America First" protectionist agenda.

Beijing has accused the US of "firing on the whole world" with the measures, pointing out that most of the Chinese goods under attack are made by companies with large foreign investment -- including American.

Local stocks in the green

CAIRO, May 28, 2018 - Local stocks were mostly in the green on Monday, driven by local and non-Arab institutional purchases and Arab sell-offs.

The main index, EGX30, edged up by 0.86 percent to close at LE16, 791.09 points. The broader indices EGX70 and EGX100 also increased by 0.04 percent and 0.02 percent to stand at 853.48 points and 2,178.22 points, respectively, according to bourse data.

Market capitalisation gained about LE1.1 billion to stand at LE949.5 billion.

Also during yesterday's trading session, real estate company Talaat Mostafa Group Holding rose 3.3 per cent after it said it had entered into a strategic partnership with EFG Hermes and GEMS Education to acquire schools with an investment of LE1 billion ($56 million).

Meanwhile, Qatar’s market outperformed Gulf peers on Monday, helped by a surge in blue-chip stocks and government plans to allow full foreign ownership of companies.

Other markets were more subdued as investors reacted to lower oil prices, which extended losses after Saudi Arabia and Russia said they may increase supplies. Trading volumes were also generally thin because of the holy month of Ramadan.

The Qatar index closed 1.5 per cent higher, with Qatar National Bank rising 2.9 per cent.

Saudi’s main stock index dropped by 0.1 per cent. Jabal Omar Development slipped by 3.3 percent, while Banque Saudi Fransi sank by 2.4 per cent.

Al Andalus Property Co dropped by the daily limit amount of 10.0 per cent after the stock went ex-dividend.

The Abu Dhabi index was up 0.2 per cent, helped by a 1.9 per cent rise in Dana Gas after it said it had received $40 million in payments from the Egyptian government.

Dana said it will use the cash to proceed with projects such as drilling Balsam-8 in its development lease onshore the Nile Delta.

In Dubai, DP World rose 3.0 per cent after the ports operator said it closed a deal to acquire Cosmos Agencia Marítima in Peru. DP World had announced the $315.7 million acquisition of the logistics service business in March.

Dubai’s index closed 0.07 percent lower, with Union Properties the main drag, falling 1.9 per cent.

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