January 22, 2019 / 1:22 PM / 9 months ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Oil hurts most of Gulf, blue-chips push down Egypt

    * Saudi's Alujain enjoys best day in 14 months
    * Saudi Steel Pipes has best one-day rise in over 4-1/2
    * 21 of 30 stocks on Egypt's index fall
    * Lender Masraf Al Raya weighs on Qatar index

    By Abinaya Vijayaraghavan
    Jan 22 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia's stock market traded flat
on Tuesday after a sharp fall in oil prices, while Egypt's index
was pulled down by its blue-chip shares, mirroring a wider
decline in emerging markets.
    Saudi's main index was unchanged after inching up
earlier in the session, with petrochemical investor Alujain
 jumping its 10 percent limit to enjoy its best one-day
gain in two years. 
    The firm provided an update on the fire at its affiliate's
plant. The fire, which broke out on Oct. 2 at its unit's NATPET
plant, halted production. Alujain now expects the plant to start
operating all units by the end of September.
    Saudi Steel Pipes leapt 8.4 percent in active
trade. The company said Tenaris completed the
acquisition of 47.8 percent of its shares and appointed Mariano
Armincol Lamazares as its new Chief Executive. 
    The Egyptian blue-chip index lost 0.7 percent, with
21 of its 30 stocks declining. Non-Arab foreigners were the net
sellers of stocks during this session, according to data on the
exchange website.
    El Sewedy Electric dropped 2.3 percent and Eastern
Co lost 2.4 percent. 
    In Dubai, the index, which has fallen 1.4 percent
this month, dipped 0.2 percent, hurt by its banks and property
shares. Dubai property prices have fallen since a mid-2014 peak,
hurt by weaker oil prices and muted sales.  
    Its largest bank Emirates NBD was down 1.7 percent
and Emaar Development fell 2.3 percent.
    Qatar's index shed 0.3 percent, pulled down by its
energy stocks as oil prices fell nearly 2 percent.
    Lender Masraf Al Raya was the biggest loser of the
day, declining 1.4 percent despite reporting a 6.8 percent
increase in its fourth-quarter net profit, according to Reuters
calculations, in line with forecasts.
    Abu Dhabi's index was flat, with Methaq Takaful
Insurance jumping 11.5 percent. 
 SAUDI       The index         was flat at
 ARABIA      8,399 points
 DUBAI       The index          dipped 0.2
             pct to 2,494 points
 QATAR       The index        lost 0.3 pct to
             10,687 points
 ABU DHABI   The index        was flat at
             4,956 points
 EGYPT       The index          fell 0.7 pct
             13,475 points
 KUWAIT      The index        inched up 0.2
             pct to 5,501 points
 OMAN        The index        was up 0.1 pct
             at 4,182 points
 BAHRAIN     The index        was up 0.2 pct
             at 1,352 points
 (Reporting by Abinaya Vijayaraghavan in Bengaluru, Editing by
William Maclean)
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