January 22, 2018 / 8:13 AM / 4 months ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf sluggish, property firms weigh on Dubai

DUBAI, Jan 22 (Reuters) - Gulf stock markets were sluggish in early trade on Monday with real estate developers weighing on Dubai because of continued concern about the impact of ample supply of new homes on the sector.

The Dubai index lost 0.6 percent to 3,492 points as Emaar Properties dropped 0.8 percent and Deyaar and Union Properties both fell 0.7 percent.

In the last several days the index has tested and failed to break resistance around 3,540 points, where the market bottomed last October - a negative short-term technical signal.

Saudi Arabia’s index edged up 0.1 percent after an early drop. Al Yamamah Steel climbed 3.1 percent in heavy trade; its board proposed a second-half cash dividend of 0.50 riyal, down from 1.0 riyal in the first half, but also approved the start of two projects to produce equipment for solar and wind energy generation. Investment in the projects is expected to total 260 million riyals ($69.3 million).

Qatar’s index slipped 0.2 percent as Medcare Group , which had doubled since mid-November, pulled back 2.2 percent. (Reporting by Andrew Torchia, editing by Larry King)

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