0550 GMT - Saudi Arabia's investors are likely to book-gains
in the last few sessions of Ramadan ahead of a long holiday at
the end of the week, while an upbeat global backdrop could
provide support to Gulf investor sentiment.
The kingdom's bourse extended gains on Saturday,
edging up 0.5 percent to a fresh 11-week high.
Eid holiday, marking the end of the Muslim month of fasting
is likely to start this weekend and run into next week.
"In the last week of Ramadan, you're not going to want to be
in the market," says Tariq Alalaiwat, equity research analyst at
NCB Capital. "What we will see as soon as investors come back
after Eid, is buying into the market ahead of Q3 earnings and
until the numbers come out."
While investors will stay out of the market over the holiday
to avoid exposure to global events, a reaction to any negative
events post-holiday would be exaggerated, Alalaiwat says.
In Dubai, regional investment bank Shuaa Capital
may see some selling pressure after it swung to a second-quarter
net loss. The firm continued its restructuring efforts and
booked one-off costs associated with the process.
Lower oil prices could also encourage investors to book
profits in petrochemical stocks.
Brent September crude eased 27 cents to settle at
$112.95 a barrel on Friday on data showing China's crude oil
imports dropped in July. Weaker global oil demand forecasts by
the International Energy Agency also weighed.
U.S. stocks notched a gain for the sixth session in a row on
Friday. Stock markets' recent rally has been underpinned by
comments by European Central Bank President Mario Draghi two
weeks ago that the central bank was "ready to do whatever it
takes to preserve the euro," raising hopes of heavy bond buying
to aid Spain and Italy.
(Reporting by Nadia Saleem; Editing by Dinesh Nair)