Gulf markets edge lower in early trade but Arabtec climbs after annual results

Gulf stock markets edged down in early trade on Sunday after oil prices pulled back on Friday, as prospects for a deal among crude producers to cap output faded.

The Dubai stock index was 0.2 per cent lower after 45 minutes as Emaar Properties lost 1.1 per cent.

However, construction firm Arabtec climbed 3.7 per cent after it reported a net loss of Dh360 million for the three months to December 31, compared with a loss of Dh94.4m a year earlier.

An analyst at Sico Bahrain had forecast Arabtec would make a quarterly net loss of Dh123.6m in the latest quarter. However, investors may have been encouraged by the fact that the firm’s loss narrowed sharply from a Dh944.8m shortfall in the third quarter of 2015.

Abu Dhabi’s index also edged down 0.2 per cent as several blue-chip banks and real estate firms were soft.

Qatar was down 0.3 per cent as Mesaieed Petrochemical dropped 1.1 per cent. However, Qatar Gas Transport Co added 1.3 per cent after posting a 12.1 per cent rise in fourth-quarter net profit to 226m Qatari riyals although that was lower than the 271.1m riyals which QNB Financial Services had forecast.

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