February 27, 2017 / 5:46 AM / 10 months ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf set to move sideways, few fresh factors

DUBAI, Feb 27 (Reuters) - Stock markets in the Gulf look set to move sideways on Monday with very few fresh factors, domestically or internationally, to stimulate trade.

Low trading volumes and small ranges for most of the region’s markets on Sunday suggested some investors are holding off on fresh activity, now that oil prices are stable and the fourth-quarter earnings reporting season is over.

Brent oil futures are at $56.37 a barrel, in the range of the last couple of months, while MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan is flat.

In Saudi Arabia, activity has focused in recent days on small and mid-sized shares and on real estate investment trusts - on Sunday Al Jazira Maten REIT climbed 9.8 percent and Riyad REIT gained 9.4 percent. That pattern may continue for now.

Elsewhere, Qatar’s Gulf International Services may drop as the stock trades ex-dividend. The pay-out is 1 riyal per share. (Reporting by Celine Aswad; Editing by Andrew Torchia)

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