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Middle East Shares Mixed, Saudi Stocks Inch Up on Higher Oil Prices as Iran Talks Continue

MidEast stocks were mixed, with Saudi Arabia edging up on a rise in oil prices .

Oil prices rose s talks over Iran's nuclear program continued, curbing expectations for an immediate deal that would allow more Iranian crude onto the market.

Corporate news also bolstered sentiment. National Petrochemical Co said its subsidiary Saudi Polymers Co had completed all of its obligations under financing agreements with its local and international lenders and would no longer need third-party financial guarantees.

Saudi Arabian Mining Co restarted the ammonia plant that it had to shut down last week because of a cooling facility fault.

Arabian Cement Co said it signed a deal for the construction of a new line at its plant in Rabigh.

In other company news around the region, Dubai Parks and Resorts said it was partnering with Lions Gate Entertainment ( LGF ) to build attractions based on its franchises including the Hunger Games movie series.

Abu Dhabi National Energy reported a net loss of 3.01 billion dirhams ($820 million) for 2014 compared with a loss of 2.52 billion dirhams in 2013. It also said it would not pay dividends for 2014 and would cut its capital expenditures this year.

Saudi Arabia's main index firmed 0.4% to 8,812 points, Dubai gained 0.5% to 3,532 points, Abu Dhabi added 0.6% to 4,496 points, Qatar shed 1.5% to 11,531 points, Egypt dipped 0.4% to 9,099 points, Kuwait slipped 0.7% to 6,237 points, Oman edged up 0.04% to 6,240 points and Bahrain lost 1.6% to 1,427 points.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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