November 16, 2015 / 7:58 AM / 2 years ago

Gulf markets edge up following regional sell-off

DUBAI, Nov 16 (Reuters) - Gulf bourses edged higher in early trade on Monday as some investors bought back stocks at lower prices following a broad sell-off in the previous session triggered by concerns over a renewed drop in oil prices.

Saudi Arabia’s benchmark tumbled to a 35-month low on Sunday, Dubai hit an 11-month low and Egypt’s close was its lowest since December 2013 in a region-wide equity sell-off.

Early-morning declines on Asian bourses had pointed to further gloom in the Gulf, but markets in the United Arab Emirates proved more resilient.

Dubai’s index was 0.1 percent higher at 0708 GMT, having been up as much as 1.3 percent at the open.

Property-related stocks, which tend to exaggerate market moves, were again the most active.

Builder Arabtec was up 0.9 percent, recovering slightly from Sunday’s 34-month low, while Union Properties and Deyaar -- two of Dubai’s smaller listed developers -- gained 4.3 and 4.1 percent respectively.

Drake & Scull sunk to an all-time low, falling 7.7 percent a day after the construction contractor reported a third-quarter loss.

In Abu Dhabi, Etisalat added 1.6 percent. The telecom operator -- the UAE’s largest listed company -- will join MSCI’s emerging market index at the end of November after the state-controlled firm ended a ban on foreign and institutional investors owning its shares.

Abu Dhabi rose 0.6 percent to 4,122 points, narrowly breaking through technical resistance at 4,120, according to a note from NBAD Securities. It also has support at 4,068 points and then 4,000, the note says, adding that most stocks have turned bearish. Losers outnumbered gainers seven to six.

Investors in the United Arab Emirates were little moved by comments from the country’s central bank governor that there would be an “appropriate adjustment” in interest rates should the United States hike its rates. The UAE dirham is pegged to the dollar, limiting its room to pursue independent monetary policies.

The Qatar and Oman benchmarks were roughly flat. (Reporting by Matt Smith, editing by Louise Heavens)

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