January 10, 2017 / 7:54 AM / 6 months ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf weak after oil falls sharply, UAE outperforms

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DUBAI, Jan 10 (Reuters) - Stock markets in Gulf were weak in early trade on Tuesday with Saudi Arabia's index heading for its third straight session of declines after oil prices fell to three-week lows overnight.

The Riyadh index was down 0.5 percent after 35 minutes; 12 of the 14 listed petrochemical shares declined after Brent crude futures retreated 4 percent on Monday. The biggest petrochemical producer, Saudi Basic Industries , fell 0.3 percent.

Telecommunications operator Zain Saudi fell 1.2 percent after announcing it would not appeal a 219.5 million riyal ($58.5 million) judgement against it in a legal dispute with rival Mobily. Zain said the payment would have no impact on its financials as it already booked provisions.

Mobily was down 1.4 percent after the company announced it had appointed Ahmed Abdelsalam Abdelrahman to replace chief executive Ahmad Farroukh.

Qatar's index fell 0.3 percent with petrochemical producer Industries Qatar pulling back 1.6 percent.

Dubai's index edged down only 0.3 percent to 3,711 points as some of the top gainers from the previous session were sold. Ajman Bank, which jumped 7.8 percent on Monday, retreated 3.0 percent.

The index is technically bullish after confirming a break in the last two days above resistance at the mid-December peak of 3,659 points. That level is now support.

In neighbouring Abu Dhabi, the index was flat with some large-cap banks making small gains. National Bank of Abu Dhabi was up 0.5 percent. (Reporting by Celine Aswad; Editing by Andrew Torchia)

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