March 1, 2017 / 2:15 PM / 6 months ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Markets diverge in low volumes; Qatar rebounds

* Commercial Bank jumps in Qatar

* Abu Dhabi supported by FGB and NBAD

* Saudi sees lowest trading volume since mid-October

* Riyad REIT jumps after two days of sharp falls

* Egypt's SODIC recovers

By Celine Aswad

DUBAI, March 1 (Reuters) - Trading volumes in Middle Eastern stocks were light on Wednesday, with relatively modest moves and regional markets taking different directions.

Qatar's index rebounded 0.5 percent after dropping 2.2 percent in the previous session. All but one of the six banks rose with Commercial Bank, the top gainer, jumping 2.3 percent.

Abu Dhabi's index added 0.4 percent to 4,570 points but closed 38 points below its intra-day high. Two banks which are set to merge on April 1 closed substantially higher, with First Gulf Bank up 1.8 percent and National Bank of Abu Dhabi 1.4 percent higher.

Dubai's index fell 0.3 percent, although trading volume more than halved from the previous session. The index has been trading in a very tight range all week.

Shares in construction firm Arabtec, which have dropped in seven of the last 10 sessions, fell 1.9 percent. Trading volumes have fallen from very high levels last week.

A note by NBAD Securities said that generally disappointing 2016 full year earnings from companies in the United Arab Emirates had dented risk appetite towards those markets, but they were supported by lower valuations compared to other emerging markets and regional peers.

Saudi Arabia's index closed 0.1 percent lower in the lowest traded volume since mid-October; second- and third- tier stocks were the chief movers, with Methanol Chemicals losing 1.3 percent.

Real estate investment trust Riyad REIT jumped 9.6 percent after two days of sharp falls; shares in the REIT have been very volatile in recent days as local day traders pile in and out of it.

Egypt's index rebounded 0.5 percent. Real estate developer SODIC climbed 2.5 percent; on Monday the company reported a near doubling in fourth-quarter net profit from a year earlier, as revenues for full-year 2016 reached an all-time high.

WEDNESDAY'S HIGHLIGHTS

SAUDI ARABIA

* The index fell 0.1 percent to 6,967 points.

DUBAI

* The index fell 0.3 percent to 3,621 points.

ABU DHABI

* The index added 0.4 percent to 4,570 points.

EGYPT

* The index rose 0.5 percent to 11,999 points.

KUWAIT

* The index lost 0.6 percent to 6,740 points.

QATAR

* The index added 0.5 percent to 10,752 points.

OMAN

* The index edged up 0.2 percent to 5,791 points.

BAHRAIN

* The index fell 0.4 percent to 1,344 points.

Editing by Andrew Torchia and Alexander Smith

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