Gulf stocks mixed in early trade

Gulf stock markets were mixed in early trade on Sunday with two Dubai construction firms dropping after reporting first-quarter earnings.

Dubai’s index fell 0.5 per cent as Arabtec sank 2.0 per cent after its first-quarter net loss narrowed to Dh46.4 million from Dh279.8m a year earlier. Analysts polled by Reuters had on average forecast a loss of Dh123.6m.

Drake & Scull slid 2.7 per cent after reporting a 61 per cent fall in profit to Dh9.8m. EFG Hermes had forecast Dh20.1m.

But Saudi Arabia’s index climbed 0.4 per cent as miner Ma’aden, expected to benefit from a drive to develop the industry in the kingdom’s economic reform plan, jumped 6.5 per cent.

Saudi International Petrochemical Company (Sipchem) gained 1.4 per cent after chief executive Ahmad Al Ohali said that the firm would be open to reviving its aborted merger with Sahara Petrochemical or pursuing another target, but only once the kingdom had changed rules governing mergers and acquisitions. Sahara edged up 0.4 per cent.

Abu Dhabi’s index fell 0.7 per cent as Aldar Properties lost 2.3 per cent.

Qatar inched up 0.2 per cent as drilling rig provider Gulf International Services jumped 8.5 per cent.

In Oman, Renaissance Services climbed 3.2 per cent after jumping its 10 per cent daily limit on Thursday, when it said its subsidiary Topaz Energy and Marine were part of a consortium that won a contract to supply and operate 15 vessels for a company in Kazakhstan. Oman’s stock index added 0.3 per cent.

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