MIDEAST STOCKS-Qatar given weightings lift as markets fall on oil weakness – Reuters

 * Saudi Arabia drops below technical support     * Oil shipper Bahri tumbles as freight rates drop     * Dubai's Arabtec down on third straight quarterly loss     * Qatar's Ezdan, CBQ rise after MSCI boosts weightings     * Depressed sentiment spreads to Egypt      By Olzhas Auyezov     DUBAI, Aug 16 Equity markets across the Middle East fell on Sunday as weak oil prices depressed investor sentiment, though the Doha bourse did better than others after index compiler MSCI increased Qatar's weighting in its emerging markets index.     Saudi Arabia's main index dropped 2.5 percent to 8,464 points, its lowest close since late January, falling through technical support around 8,500 points, where it had bottomed out in March and April.     A second straight close below that level would trigger a double top formed by the March and April peaks, indicating that December's low of 7,226 points could be repeated in the coming months.     Nearly all stocks were in the red, including blue chips such as petrochemicals giant Saudi Basic Industries, which fell 2.1 percent despite nearing the Aug. 23 registration date for a dividend payout.     Oil shipper Bahri was one of the biggest losers, tumbling 8.3 percent after benchmark tanker freight rates from the Gulf to Japan dropped 3 percent on Friday to their lowest in more than 10 months.     Much of the latest fall in oil prices, which have plunged 30 percent from their May peak, occurred when many Gulf investors were away on summer holidays, and some investors may be reacting only now.     But Abdullah Alawi, assistant general manager and head of research at Aljazira Capital in Riyadh, said the depth of Sunday's market decline was suprising and, though the sell-off presented bargain-hunting opportunities, it might continue for technical reasons.     "Everyone is bracing themselves for a further downward movement," he said.     Dubai's index lost 1.4 percent and builder Arabtec , the most traded stock, fell 5.4 percent after reporting that it had swung to a net loss of 718.3 million dirhams ($  196 million) in the second quarter from a 102.4 million dirham profit in the same period last year. It was Arabtec's third straight quarterly loss.      Two analysts polled by Reuters had made forecasts of 88.4 million dirhams and 90.6 million dirhams in quarterly profit.     Most other Dubai stocks also fell and heavyweight developer Emaar Properties was down 1.3 percent.     Abu Dhabi's main index slid 1.3 percent in another broad sell-off, with Eshraq Properties dropping by 2.7 percent after announcing a more than 90 percent slump in second-quarter profit to 2.4 million dirhams, citing a decline in revenue.          QATAR, EGYPT     Qatar's index inched 0.1 percent lower as Ezdan Holding and Commercial Bank of Qatar (CBQ)  offset most of the broader market's losses. Ezdan jumped 2.6 percent and CBQ added 0.5 percent after MSCI said it would increase both stocks' weightings in its emerging markets index at the end of August.        Egypt's bourse was down 3.2 percent at the close, hitting a one-month low of 7,626 points as most stocks fell.      Juhayna Food Industries tumbled 7.5 percent after state media said the stock exchange is poised to freeze trading in chairman Safwan Thabet's shares in the company because of alleged links to the banned Muslim Brotherhood.      The company said this would have no effect on its operations or its standing with the government. Thabet could not be reached for comment.     The sell-off also hit companies that had reported positive news, such as property developer Medinet Nasr. The stock fell 6.1 percent even though the company posted a 13 percent rise in second-quarter profit.           SUNDAY'S HIGHLIGHTS          SAUDI ARABIA     * The index fell 2.5 percent to 8,464 points.          DUBAI     * The index fell 1.4 percent to 3,930 points.          ABU DHABI     * The index lost 1.3 percent to 4,671 points.          QATAR     * The index slipped 0.1 percent to 11,844 points.          EGYPT     * The index dropped 3.2 percent to 7,626 points.          KUWAIT     * The index fell 0.6 percent to 6,263 points.          OMAN     * The index edged down 0.4 percent to 6,292 points.          BAHRAIN     * The index slipped 0.2 percent to 1,332 points.   (Editing by Andrew Torchia and David Goodman) 

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