September 17, 2017 / 7:57 AM / a year ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Qatar continues slide, Saudi supported by strong oil

DUBAI, Sept 17 (Reuters) - Qatar’s stock market headed for its tenth straight losing session on Sunday while Saudi Arabia’s index bucked an otherwise weak region because of gains in the petrochemical sector.

On Friday, Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani said Qatar was ready to sit at the negotiating table to try to end a dispute with its Gulf Arab neighbours. But in the absence of any positive response from the Saudi-led coalition which is boycotting Qatar, investors did not take the remarks as a sign that the dispute was moving closer to resolution.

Qatar’s index slipped 0.5 percent with Doha Bank dropping 2.6 percent.

Last week, sources told Reuters the bank had cut around 10 jobs in the United Arab Emirates and planned to put some staff in the region on unpaid leave, because of the hit to its business from the diplomatic dispute. Doha Bank said the information was incorrect but declined to elaborate.

In Saudi Arabia, all but one of the 14 listed petrochemical shares rose after Brent crude closed near a five-month peak on Friday. Saudi Kayan Petrochemical was up 1.1 percent.

Newly listed Zahrat Al Waha, a maker of plastic bottle caps and other products, rose as much as 9.6 percent from its IPO price of 51.0 riyals before falling 0.4 percent.

Dubai’s index fell 0.4 percent, weighed down by declines in mid- to large-cap stocks. Deyaar Development was down 0.8 percent.

Abu Dhabi’s index was down 0.8 percent as Dana Gas fell 1.2 percent in heavy trade on profit-taking. It rose last week after its sukuk holders proposed a deal to end a dispute over payments on the debt. Dana rejected the proposal (Reporting by Celine Aswad; Editing by Andrew Torchia and Andrew Heavens)

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