October 6, 2016 / 8:31 AM / a year ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi petchems rise, but most of Gulf weak

DUBAI, Oct 6 (Reuters) - Saudi petrochemical shares continued rising early on Thursday, encouraged by strong oil prices, but most stocks in the region weakened in quiet trade.

The Saudi index edged up 0.2 percent after Brent oil futures rose as high as $52.09 per barrel overnight, the highest since early June.

National Petrochem, which surged 8.2 percent on Wednesday, climbed a further 3.0 percent to 15.60 riyals; NCB Capital and SICO upgraded their views of the stock this week, with targets of 17.30 and 19.00 riyals respectively.

National Industrialisation (Tasnee), which has petrochemical assets, gained 4.8 percent in unusually heavy trade.

But most other stocks in the market moved little and telecommunications firm Zain Saudi pulled back 2.6 percent after rising sharply in the previous two days on hopes it would benefit from deregulation.

Dubai's index fell 0.5 percent as DXBE Entertainments sagged 2.0 percent. It has been weak since last Friday, when it announced delays to the opening of some of its theme parks; instead of all of them opening on Oct. 31, some facilities will now open on Nov. 15 and Dec. 16.

Abu Dhabi's index lost 0.3 percent, despite a 2.0 percent rise by Union National Bank, while Qatar edged down 0.2 percent despite a 1.1 percent rise by telecommunications company Ooredoo. (Reporting by Andrew Torchia; Editing by Mark Potter)

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