June 22, 2017 / 5:34 AM / 6 months ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi shares may see some mild profit taking ahead of Eid

DUBAI, June 22 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia’s stock market may see some profit taking on Thursday ahead of the week-long Eid al-Fitr break, while the rest of the Gulf bourses are likely to end the week with losses as crude oil prices stayed persistently weak.

On Wednesday the Riyadh stock index surged 5.5 percent in reaction to the appointment of the architect of the economic reform and privatization plans, Prince Mohammed bin Salman, to crown prince. Previously the 31-year old was deputy crown prince.

Also investors were happy that index compiler MSCI placed Riyadh on the watch list for an emerging market upgrade. Analysts predict the market may gain between 20-30 percent through to the decision date in June 2018.

Any MSCI move to upgrade would take effect in two phases - in May 2019 and August 2019.

But the market, which is mainly made up of retail investors, may mildly fall as some traders may choose to cash out and spend money during the Eid holiday, which marks the end of the Islamic month of Ramadan. The market will be closed from June 25 and will resume trade on July 2.

Meanwhile Brent crude futures staying near overnight’s 10-month low of $44.35 a barrel, may continue to weigh on other Gulf bourses.

Qatar’s stock market is down 5.2 percent since the start of the week. (Reporting by Celine Aswad; Editing by Saeed Azhar)

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