DUBAI, Sept 29 An overnight rally in oil prices
after an OPEC production deal helped lift most Gulf stock
markets in early trade on Thursday but Saudi Arabia's bourse
contined to drop.
Saudi petrochemical shares, which make up roughly
one-quarter of the market's capitalisation, jumped after Brent
oil surged over $48 a barrel. The largest producer,
Saudi Basic Industries, gained 1.9 percent.
But the main Saudi market index resumed its descent
and fell 0.5 percent after 40 minutes of trade, heading for a
third day of declines. In the previous two days, it slid 7.1
Tough austerity measures - including cuts to civil service
bonuses announced this week - continued to weigh on
domestic-demand driven shares. Bookstore operator Jarir
Marketing lost 3.0 percent and Aljazira Bank
, which provides margin trade accounts to stock market
investors, was down by the same margin.
News that the U.S. Congress overwhelmingly rejected
President Barack Obama's veto of legislation allowing relatives
of victims of the Sept. 11 attacks to sue Saudi Arabia was
negative, but bankers said it would have little impact on the
markets because the economic implications for Riyadh, if any,
were not yet clear.
Dubai's stock index climbed 0.9 percent with
gainers outnumbering losers 17 to four. Dubai Parks and Resorts
, which is due to open its amusement parks next month,
added 1.3 percent and Emaar Properties rose 1.9
In Qatar, the main index was up 0.7 percent with
nine-tenths of traded shares advancing. Qatar National Bank
was the top gainer, adding 1.3 percent.
(Reporting by Celine Aswad; Editing by Andrew Torchia and