MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi inches up as trade tensions ease, cheaper valuations lift UAE
By Shakeel Ahmad
Aug 26 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia's stocks bounced back from earlier losses on Monday with the United States and China seeking to soothe trade tensions, while markets in the United Arab Emirates rose after recent sell-offs made stock valuations more attractive.
Beijing called for calm and U.S. President Donald Trump predicted a trade deal between the world's two largest economies after markets fell in response to new tariffs from both countries.
Oil prices also rose on the concillatory signs, following losses incurred after both the sides had levelled more tariffs on each other's exports.
The Saudi index .TASI was up 0.2% after falling in previous three sessions with Banque Saudi Fransi 1050.SE gaining 2.1% and Saudi Electricity 5110.SE adding 2.8%.
Abu Dhabi's index .ADI rebounded 0.6% after three consecutive days of losses, with Emirates Telecom ETISALAT.AD increasing 0.6% and market heavyweight First Abu Dhabi Bank FAB.AD edging up 0.5%.
A Qatari regulator said on Sunday it had fined First Abu Dhabi Bank 200 million Qatari riyals ($55 million) for obstructing an ongoing investigation into suspected market manipulation, a charge the bank later denied.
Dubai's index .DFMGI closed 0.5% higher, led by 1% rise in the emirate's blue-chip developer Emaar Properties EMAR.DU and 0.6% gain in Dubai Islamic Bank DISB.DU.
"The UAE is doing rather well and I attribute that to the fact that both Dubai and Abu Dhabi have lost 6% to 7% this month alone from a benign starting point," said Vrajesh Bhandari, senior portfolio manager at Al Mal Capital.
"Therefore, valuations are reasonable, especially for companies that have reported healthy second quarter results," Bhandari added. "Investors are adding exposure to high quality companies."
However he cautioned that it was necessary to keep a close eye on global factors such as the U.S.-China trade talks, Oil prices and interest rates that are likely to guide short-term market direction.
The Qatar index .QSI fell 0.3% with the Gulf's biggest lender Qatar National Bank QNBK.QA shedding 1% and Industries Qatar IQCD.QA dropping 1.4%.
Egypt's blue-chip index .EGX30 fell 0.4% with its top lender Commercial International Bank COMI.CA dropping 1.2%.
The index .TASI was up 0.2% at 8,258 points
The index .ADI rose 0.6% to 4,997 points
The index .DFMGI gained 0.5% to 2,729 points
The index .QSI lost 0.3% to 9,788 points
The index .EGX30 fell 0.4% to 14,291 points
The index .BAX was down 0.2% at 1,531 points
The index .MSI was flat at 3,927 points
The index .BKP rose 0.5% to 6,527 points
(Reporting by Shakeel Ahmad in Bengaluru; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)
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