STOCKS NEWS MIDEAST-Gulf set for muted start as traders wait on Saudi

Reuters Middle East

0535 GMT - Gulf Arab stocks are expected to be muted in

early trade on Sunday, with investors waiting to see if the

later-opening Saudi Arabia bourse will hold onto the

previous day's gains before committing cash to other markets.

Saudi's index rose 0.8 percent on Saturday, ending a

10-session losing streak as oil price gains drew buyers back to

petrochemical stocks, although it is too early to say whether

the kingdom's bourse has bottomed out, says Sebastien Henin,

portfolio manager at The National Investor.

That means investors in the United Arab Emirates will have

one eye on the Saudi bourse open at 0800 GMT - two hours after

trading in the UAE starts - and if this is positive it could

draw in more buyers to Dubai and Abu Dhabi, Henin says.

"It could be a quiet session and I don't expect a lot of

volatility," says Henin. "The news flow is very poor - it's very


World stocks rose on Friday on signs of progress in talks on

releasing aid to Greece, which should boost regional sentiment,

says Marwan Shurrab, vice-president and chief trader at Gulfmena

Alternative Investments, although political turmoil closer to

home could have a more telling influence.

"We're still not seeing the resolution of political issues

such as in Egypt and Syria and that will push investors away

from risk at the current time," adds Shurrab.

Property-related stocks in the UAE could be a target for

speculative trade after Dubai's ruler announced plans for a huge

retail and tourist development in the city that appeared to

include re-starting projects that were halted following a

property price crash.

(Reporting by Matt Smith,; Editing by Praveen Menon)

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