Gulf markets weak as oil prices fail to recover

(MENAFN- Gulf Times) Gulf stock markets were weak yesterday as oil prices failed to recover from Tuesday's drop.

Saudi Arabia's index fell 0.5% with most blue chips in the red. Petrochemicals giant Saudi Basic Industries fell 0.4% as Brent crude gave up early gains and fell below $64 per barrel in response to a strong US dollar.

Leading retail lender Al Rajhi Bank slipped 0.2% to 67.25 riyals after Al Jazira Capital cut its target price for the stock to 61.50 riyals from 63.90 riyals, citing two straight year-on-year declines in quarterly profit and a slowdown in lending activity.
Miner Ma'aden dropped 3.0% after hitting an all-time closing high of 47.90 riyals on Tuesday.

But Dallah Healthcare surged 8.5% after Al Madina newspaper quoted Health Minister Khalid al-Falih as saying the study phase for the introduction of health insurance for all Saudi citizens was complete and it would be implemented in coming years.

Dubai's index fell 1.7% to 3,992 points as most stocks declined. Trading volume spiked when the benchmark fell below technical support in the 4,000 point area, where the index had peaked in December and February.

Abu Dhabi's bourse lost 0.9% in another broad decline.

Egypt's market inched down 0.1% but Telecom Egypt surged 4.5% after saying it might buy back its own shares following their drop due to the company's exclusion from MSCI's emerging markets index this month.

Also, Egypt's prime minister yesterday appointed new government representatives to the company's board, which was due to elect a new chairman and chief executive officer later in the day.

Property firm Medinet Nasr for Housing and Development (MNHD) jumped 2.1%, extending gains on a planned deal with Saudi Arabian retailer Fawaz Abdulaziz Alhokair to build a mall at MNHD's Teegan development.

Elsewhere in the Gulf, Kuwait's index added 0.4% to 6,333 points; Oman's index inched up 0.1% to 6,394 points, while Bahrain's index slipped 0.1% to 1,366 points.

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