June 12, 2018 / 7:38 AM / a year ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Dubai gives up fresh early gains before Eid

DUBAI, June 12 (Reuters) - Dubai stocks edged higher in early trade on Tuesday, then retreated amid slack trade in the build up to the Eid holiday and some profit taking.

Traders had taken heart from the emirate’s decision to cut local government fees on sales at hotels and restaurants. “Anything to revive the competitive scale of the business environment is considered positive,” said Tariq Qaqish, managing director of the asset-management division at Mena Corp.

But the market struggled to keep up momentum two days before the start of the Muslim holiday.

The Dubai Financial Market General Index rose as much as 0.3 percent to 3,108 points in the morning before losing those gains - though it kept above the psychological 3,000-point level.

Emaar Properties, Dubai’s biggest developer, was up 1.7 percent at the open, but lost all its gains by midday to decline 0.6 percent.

Abu Dhabi’s index fell 0.1 percent, weighed down by banking stocks.

Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank lost 0.1 percent, First Abu Dhabi Bank lost 0.4 percent and Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank was down 0.5 percent.

Some United Arab Emirates stocks are also moving ahead of index benchmarker FTSE’s emerging markets index rebalancing, which is taking place on June 16, said Mohammed Ali Yasin, chief executive officer of FAB Securities, the brokerage arm of First Abu Dhabi Bank.

The rebalancing is “smaller in size to the MSCI rebalancing we saw end of May, however, in such low volume trading environment in UAE markets, it will move the shares involved which may help consolidate the index gains we have been achieving since May end.”

Qatar’s index was down 0.1 percent, driven down by real estate and banking stocks.

Barwa Real Estate, one of the Gulf Arab state’s largest listed developers, declined 1.5 percent. Doha Bank, Qatar’s fifth-biggest lender, was down 0.5 percent.

Saudi Arabia’s benchmark was little changed, underpinned by oil prices rose alongside global markets as U.S. President Donald Trump said a summit in Singapore with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un had made “a lot of progress”. (Reporting by Hadeel Al Sayegh Editing by Andrew Heavens)

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