May 20, 2018 / 1:24 PM / 5 months ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi flat, Drake and Scull International lifts Dubai

DUBAI, May 20 (Reuters) - Gulf stock markets were mostly flat on Sunday amid low trading volumes and a lack of significant events.

The Saudi index was little changed, while the Dubai index closed up 0.2 percent. The rest of the region closed down, but with losses limited.

Global stocks dipped last Friday because of persistent concerns over trade tensions. Oil prices also slipped on Friday, with Brent crude futures falling 79 cents, or 1 percent, to settle at $78.51 a barrel. But the dip came after a sixth week of gains, with prices breaking through $80 a barrel last week for the first time since November 2014.

Shares in Saudi oil and gas and petrochemical companies were mostly down on Sunday, despite some gains earlier in the day. Blue-chip Saudi Basic Industries (SABIC) shed 0.2 percent, while Saudi Kayan Petrochemical edged down 0.1 percent.

Most of the trading was concentrated on real estate developer Dar Al Arkan Real Estate Development Co., which was up 0.4 percent, and Alinma Bank, down 0.1 percent.

Real estate developer Jabal Omar Development was among the best performers, up 3.9 percent at the close – and it had been up more than 6 percent in earlier trading – after announcing an agreement with Albilad Capital to sell 90 housing units for 1.1 billion riyals ($293 million).

In Dubai, the index was lifted by gains of 2 percent and 1.7 percent by Dubai Financial Market and building contractor Drake and Scull International, respectively.

Drake and Scull International, by far the most traded stock in the market, reported last week a net profit attributable to shareholders of 16.2 million dirhams ($4.4 million) for the first quarter, swinging from a net loss of 722.5 million dirhams in the corresponding period last year.

Heavyweight Emaar Properties climbed 0.2 percent after a weak start earlier on Sunday.

The Abu Dhabi index edged down 0.1 percent, pressured by Sharjah Cement and Industrial Development Company, which lost 4.8 percent and was the most traded stock.

The Egyptian index lost 0.6 percent, but the most traded stock was Orascom Telecom Media & Technology Holding , which gained 2.4 percent.

SAUDI ARABIA

* The index was flat at 8,018 points.

DUBAI

* The index climbed 0.2 percent to 2,919 points.

ABU DHABI

* The index edged down 0.1 percent to 4,426 points.

QATAR

* The index shed 0.4 percent to 8,857 points.

KUWAIT

* The index edged up 0.1 percent to 4,771 points.

BAHRAIN

* The index lost 0.4 percent to 1,267 points.

OMAN

* The index went down 0.6 percent to 4,590 points.

EGYPT

* The index shed 0.6 percent to 16,782 points.

Editing by Mark Potter

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