December 8, 2014 / 7:08 AM / 3 years ago

UPDATE 2-MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi Arabia's petrochemicals fall further

(Updates with Saudi Arabia, Egypt open)

DUBAI, Dec 8 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia’s bourse edged down in early trade on Monday as petrochemicals once again weighed on the market after negative news and a fresh decline in the price of oil.

The kingdom’s main stock index fell 0.6 percent and Saudi Basic Industries was the main drag, sliding 0.8 percent. Its subsidiary Yanbu National Petrochemical Co (Yansab) , which last week proposed a dividend cut and announced plans to shut down a plant for maintenance, fell 1.3 percent.

Shares in Saudi International Petrochemical Co dropped 2.0 percent while Rabigh Refining and Petrochemical Co lost 1.4 percent.

Brent crude traded near $68 a barrel on Monday after Morgan Stanley cut its forecast for the commodity and said oversupply would peak next year. Cheaper oil may eat into the margins of Gulf petrochemical producers, which have previously enjoyed cost advantages thanks to subsidised feedstock.

Egypt’s bourse, which had risen in the three previous sessions, edged down 0.5 percent on Monday as most stocks declined.

Shares in Heliopolis Housing fell 0.9 percent after its annual meeting approved a dividend of 1.0 pound per share, even though the payout is higher than last year’s 0.85 pound, according to Reuters data. (Reporting by Olzhas Auyezov; Editing by Andrew Torchia)

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