DUBAI Dec 19 Stock markets in the Gulf may
continue edging up on Monday as crude oil prices have climbed
overnight, with Brent futures up 0.7 percent from their
Friday close to $55.58 a barrel, but trading activity is likely
to be light.
Shrinking trading volumes in the Gulf in the last few days
have suggested some institutional and foreign funds are stepping
back before the end of the year. In Saudi Arabia, investors are
awaiting the 2017 state budget, expected next week.
The Saudi stock index, last at 7,138 points, faces
technical resistance at last week's one-year peak of 7,235
points, and declining 14-day momentum suggests breaking that
resistance in the near term is unlikely.
Petrochemical giant Saudi Basic Industries said
its board had proposed paying a cash dividend of 2 riyals for
the second half of 2016, below the dividend paid in the
corresponding period of 2015 of 3 riyals per share, according to
Thomson Reuters data. SABIC's shares are up 24.1 percent
Dubai's index, last at 3,555 points, faces
resistance around the August peak of 3,624 points, which it
tested and failed to break decisively last week.
(Reporting by Celine Aswad; Editing by Andrew Torchia)