Gulf markets retreat in early trade, follow decline in oil and global stocks

Stock markets in the Gulf retreated in early trade on Sunday as investors booked profits in response to lower oil prices and a pull-back by international bourses.

Saudi petrochemical shares were the main drag on Riyadh’s stock index, which was down 0.8 per cent after 30 minutes of trade. Saudi Basic Industries lost 1.5 per cent.

But Dar Al Arkan Real Estate Development remained resilient, adding 2.5 per cent after a 20 per cent jump last week. The stock has been strong since the developer said last week it was in talks with the government to provide housing under the kingdom’s economic reform plan.

Dubai’s index, the top performer in the region last week, lost 1.0 per cent as investors booked profits. Emaar Properties and builder Arabtec were each down more than 1.8 per cent.

In Abu Dhabi the index declined 0.2 per cent, extending Thursday’s losses, with Dana Gas dropping 1.8 per cent.

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