February 7, 2018 / 1:54 PM / 3 months ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Most major bourses rebound but Saudi pulled down by petchems, cement

* Most major markets buoyed by steadier global bourses

* But Saudi edges down after rising at opening

* Al Yamamah Steel sinks after quarterly profit plunge

* Abu Dhabi’s Ras Al Khaimah Ceramics up on dividend hike

* Qatar outperforms; market to list ETFs soon

By Andrew Torchia

DUBAI, Feb 7 (Reuters) - Most major Middle Eastern stock markets rebounded on Wednesday after global bourses stabilised following their tumble in recent days, but the biggest regional market, Saudi Arabia, was hit by profit-taking in petrochemical and cement shares.

The Saudi index rose almost 1 percent in early trade but then edged down for the rest of the day, closing 0.7 percent lower. Thirteen of 14 petrochemical shares dropped along with 11 of 14 cement shares.

Al Yamamah Steel Industries sank 6.2 percent after saying quarterly net profit tumbled to 6.7 million riyals ($1.8 million) from ‍29​ million riyals a year ago because of a slowdown in projects and stiff competition. SICO Bahrain had forecast a profit of 22.3 million riyals.

But food retailer Abdullah Al-Othaim Markets, which rose on Tuesday after saying quarterly profit grew 75 percent, climbed a further 5.5 percent.

Dubai’s index gained 0.8 percent as blue chip Emaar Properties added 1.1 percent. In Abu Dhabi, the index rose 1.2 percent as the biggest bank, First Abu Dhabi Bank, climbed 1.3 percent.

Ras Al Khaimah Ceramics jumped 3.6 percent in thin trade after reporting it swung into the black last year and hiking its dividend.

Qatar’s index, which suffered more than other Gulf markets during the recent global downturn, surged 2.7 percent in active trade.

Market sources told Reuters on Tuesday that Masraf Al Rayan and Amwal planned this quarter to list exchange-traded funds, which could give the market a boost.

SAUDI ARABIA

* Index fell 0.7 percent to 7,417 points.

DUBAI

* Index rose 0.8 percent to 3,354 points.

ABU DHABI

* Index gained 1.2 percent to 4,596 points.

QATAR

* Index surged 2.7 percent to 8,888 points.

EGYPT

* Index climbed 2.2 percent to 15,037 points.

KUWAIT

* Index rose 0.5 percent to 6,658 points.

BAHRAIN

* Index fell 0.2 percent to 1,336 points.

OMAN

* Index dropped 0.8 percent to 4,972 points. (Editing by Mark Potter)

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