Gulf stock markets edge down in narrow trade

Gulf stock markets edged down in narrow trade early on Wednesday with few new incentives to buy shares, although buying interest on dips suggested an extended pull-back was not beginning.

Dubai’s benchmark index fell 1.0 per cent in the first 75 minutes amid profit-taking in real estate stocks, with Emaar Properties down 1.5 per cent.

But Drake & Swull was flat after saying it had won a 340 million Qatari riyal contract for work on the Doha Metro.

Abu Dhabi slipped 0.6 per cent mainly because of First Gulf Bank, which lost 1.3 per cent.

Qatar’s index edged down 0.5 per cent but Qatari Investors Group, the most heavily traded stock, jumped its 10 per cent daily limit to 43.20 riyals as it resumed trading after being suspended since Feb. 24.

The company had planned to hold an extraordinary shareholders meeting on March 6 to discuss delisting. That meeting did not take place because of the lack of a quorum, and the firm said that the meeting had been rescheduled to April 12.

Gulf Warehousing jumped its 10 per cent limit for a second straight day after the Qatar Central Securities Depository said on Tuesday it had raised the maximum foreign ownership per centage in its shares to 49 per cent of capital.

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