MIDEAST STOCKS-Global backdrop positive but earnings misses in Gulf
The Saudi Arabian stock market

DUBAI: The global market environment is modestly positive for Middle East stock markets on Monday but a few third-quarter earnings misses may weigh on individual Gulf shares.

Asian stocks are holding near two-year highs on Monday morning after encouraging gross domestic product data from China, while Brent oil has edged up 0.3 percent to $50.59 per barrel.

However, some major corporate earnings announced in the past 24 hours have not been positive. Saudi Arabian Mining Co (Ma’aden) posted an 83.5 percent plunge in third-quarter net profit to 79.9 million riyals ($21.3 million); analysts had forecast 209-265 million riyals.

Meanwhile Commercial Bank of Qatar, the Gulf Arab state’s second-largest lender by assets, reported a quarterly net profit of 275.9 million riyals versus 486.5 million riyals in the same period of last year; analysts polled by Reuters had forecast 495.4 million riyals.

Dubai’s stock index, which edged up 0.3 percent to 3,708 points on Sunday, has repeatedly failed to make a decisive break of technical resistance above 3,700 points in recent weeks, and low trading volumes suggest the market lacks the energy to do so now.

Om the positive side, Saudi Arabia’s Jarir Marketing said it would pay a cash dividend of 2.05 riyals per share for the third quarter of 2015, up from 1.8 riyals per share which the company paid in the same period of 2014.

Egypt’s index fell 0.7 percent on Sunday after the central bank allowed the pound to weaken slightly in the official market for a second straight trading day, which investors think is a signal that another round of managed depreciation may be starting.

The 10 most heavily traded Egyptian stocks moved only narrowly, however, indicating the market was not in the grip of a major sell-off.

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