DUBAI Jan 11 Saudi Arabia's stock market fell
on Wednesday morning with all but one petrochemical producer
retreating after oil dropped near a one-month low overnight,
while Dubai pulled back on profit- taking.
The Saudi index was down 0.7 percent to 6,957
points, falling below technical support at the mid-December low
of 7,002 points. Two straight closes below support would confirm
a break, triggering a double top formed by the December and
January peaks and pointing down to around 6,770 points.
But Yanbu National Petrochemical Co (Yansab) rose
0.9 percent after it reported a 53.4 percent rise in
fourth-quarter net profit to 602.85 million riyals ($160.7
million), in line with analysts' forecasts.
All major Saudi banks were weak, with Al Rajhi
dropping 0.8 percent.
Dubai's main index, which has been outperforming
the region since the start of the year, lost 0.5 percent as
large-cap shares weighed on the market. Emaar Properties
fell 1.0 percent.
But some shares in the insurance sector outperformed with
Islamic Arab Insurance, the most heavily traded
stock, jumping 4.1 percent. There is speculation that the
finance and insurance industries may witness further tie-ups
following the impending merger of National Bank of Abu Dhabi
and First Gulf Bank.
Abu Dhabi's index lost 0.2 percent, dragged down by a
2.1 percent decline in blue chip Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank
and a 0.8 percent fall in Aldar Properties.
(Reporting by Celine Aswad; Editing by Andrew Torchia, Larry