MIDEAST STOCKS-Oil prices buoy Gulf; Global Telecom aids Egypt – Reuters

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* Petrochemicals lead Saudi up

* Market’s index testing technical resistance

* Drake & Scull continues strong rebound in Dubai

* Oman underperforms after Moody’s downgrades debt

* Egypt’s Global Telecom gets bullish research rating

By Andrew Torchia

DUBAI, Feb 28 Major Middle East stock markets
gained in active trade on Sunday after oil prices rose sharply
last week. Egypt’s bourse climbed on the back of Global Telecom
, a favourite of foreign

There is a sense that global bourses and oil prices are
regaining some longer-term strength after Brent crude
oil gained more than 6 percent last week. This is encouraging
sharp rebounds in individual Gulf stocks that bore the brunt of
panic selling early this year.

The Saudi index surged 1.9 percent to 6,092 points,
testing technical resistance on the early February and
end-January peaks of 6,056-6,099 points. Any break would turn it
short-term bullish, triggering a right triangle formed by the
highs and lows since mid-January and pointing up to around 6,850

Petrochemical stocks, which were sold heavily as oil tested
multi-year lows in recent months, led the Saudi market up with
the sector’s index jumping 3.2 percent. Saudi Basic
Industries rose 2.4 percent.

Alujain Corp, an industrial investment company
focused on petrochemicals, jumped 8.1 percent despite reporting
a 36 percent drop in last year’s net profit.

In Dubai, the index rose 1.7 percent to 3,177
points, nearing technical resistance on the late December peak
of 3,189 points.

In recent days it has been led by previously beaten-down
stocks such as construction firm Drake & Scull, which
rose 5.9 percent to 0.43 dirham in heavy trade on Sunday.

Drake has now jumped 48 percent from January’s record low,
although it remains far below its 2014 peak of 1.97 dirhams.
Three analysts rate it a “hold” and six a “sell” or “strong
sell”, according to Thomson Reuters data. They have a median
price target of 0.42 dirham.

All 10 of Dubai’s most heavily traded stocks were
higher. Construction firm Arabtec, the most active
stock on Sunday, jumped 10.6 percent.

Abu Dhabi’s index rose 0.6 percent as
telecommunications blue chip Etisalat climbed 2.4

Qatar added 0.8 percent. Financial firm Islamic
Holding jumped 7.7 percent, while Gulf International
Services, a drilling rig provider, climbed 4.8
percent. It has bounced 29 percent from this month’s multi-year

Oman underperformed the region, edging down 0.1
percent, after Moody’s Investors Service cut the country’s
sovereign credit rating by two notches on Saturday. Banks, which
may need to borrow abroad in future to replenish capital, were

Egypt’s index added 1.3 percent as Global Telecom
gained 4.6 percent to 2.07 Egyptian pounds. In a
report on Thursday, AlphaMena Research rated the stock a “buy”
with a six-month target price of 6.75 pounds, citing attractive
valuations despite concern over its Algerian subsidiary.



* The index surged 1.9 percent to 6,092 points.


* The index rose 1.3 percent to 6,156 points.


* The index rose 1.7 percent to 3,177 points.


* The index gained 0.6 percent to 4,276 points.


* The index added 0.8 percent to 9,928 points.


* The index rose 0.7 percent to 5,213 points.


* The index edged down 0.1 percent to 5,384 points.


* The index was flat at 1,182 points.

(Editing by Ros Russell)

MIDEAST STOCKS-Oil prices buoy Gulf; Global Telecom aids Egypt – Reuters}