MIDEAST STOCKS-Major Gulf markets edge up, weak earnings hit Egypt
A trader works at the Egyptian stock exchange in Cairo, Egypt, December 3, 2015. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany

DUBAI: Most major Gulf stock markets edged up on Wednesday, buoyed by an overnight rise in oil prices and U.S. bourses, while Egypt’s market was hit by weak corporate earnings.

Saudi Arabia’s index closed 0.1 percent higher after rising as much as 0.5 percent at one stage. Much activity focused on second- or third-tier stocks favoured by local speculators. Saudi Printing and Packaging rose 1.3 percent in the heaviest trade since it listed in July 2007.

Publisher Saudi Research and Marketing surged 4.4 percent to 47.10 riyals, breaking out of the 36-45 riyal range it had traded in since mid-February.

Dubai’s stock index rose 0.5 percent as Islamic mortgage provider Amlak added 3.5 percent. It reported first-quarter profit jumped to 123 million dirhams ($33.5 million) from 6 million dirhams and managing director Arif Alharmi predicted modest growth for the rest of the year.

Gulf Navigation fell 2.8 percent after posting a 28 percent jump in profit to 6.3 million dirhams, which had been expected.

Abu Dhabi’s index slipped 0.9 percent.

Abu Dhabi National Energy Co dropped 1.8 percent after reporting a first-quarter net loss of 608 million dirhams ($165.5 million) versus a year-earlier profit of 256 million dirhams.

Qatar edged up 0.1 percent as Dlala Brokerage continued its uptrend of the past month, rising 4.6 percent.

Egypt’s index dropped 1.6 percent. Palm Hills Development fell a further 2.4 percent, having tumbled 3.5 percent on Tuesday after reporting a 40 percent drop in first-quarter net profit.

GB Auto sank 2.5 percent after saying quarterly net profit plunged 70 percent, hit by Egypt’s hard currency shortage, which has made importing vehicles more difficult.

Investment bank EFG-Hermes, which posted a first-quarter net loss of 63.66 million Egyptian pounds ($7.17 million) against a year-earlier profit of 181.55 million pounds after taking a non-cash impairment charge, dropped 0.6 percent.

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