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Gulf Arab stock markets seen under pressure

Here's an up-to-the-minute review of this weekend's performance and expectations for the Gulf's stock market at the beginning of this week.

May 15, 2011 10:14 by

Gulf Arab market will tread on shaky ground, tracking Friday’s weakness in global markets. US stocks fell on Friday and the euro slid to a six-week low against the dollar as euro zone debt fears came back to the fore, pulling investments out of big-bets in emerging markets.

“Today will be quiet but slightly downward, because there is some pressure,” says Haissam Arabi, chief executive and fund manager at Gulfmena Alternative Investments.

“Given that it’s Sunday, we wait for more cues on commodities, oil and euro to see if they will rebound tomorrow. That’s moving the market right now.”

Dana Gas , the UAE energy firm, may see pressure as it faces delayed payments of $148 million for gas from the Egyptian government which could have an impact on its future investments in the country, its CEO told Reuters on Thursday.

An ongoing probe into political corruption in Egypt may spur uncertainy in that market.

Egypt’s anti-graft agency said on Friday it had ordered former President Hosni Mubarak and his wife detained as part of a probe into charges they used their influence to amass wealth unlawfully.

Oil rose on Friday in late short-covering, ending the week higher after a volatile session whipsawed by European economic concerns.

Brent crude ended up nearly $5 on the week, after dropping $16 last week as the market digested a wide range of factors. (Reporting by Nadia Saleem; Editing by Amran Abocar)

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