July 17, 2017 / 6:01 AM / 6 months ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf to consolidate, Dubai testing chart barrier

DUBAI, July 17 (Reuters) - Gulf stock markets look set to consolidate on Monday in the absence of fresh news, though Dubai may continue rising if it looks likely to break important technical resistance.

The international market environment is modestly positive, with MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan up 0.4 percent and Brent oil up 0.3 percent to $49.03 a barrel.

On Sunday, the Dubai index gained 1.0 percent in modest trading volume to close on its April peak of 3,573 points. Any clean break of that resistance (two straight daily closes) would point up in coming weeks or months to strong resistance at 3,737-9 points, the January and February peaks.

Moderately positive second-quarter earnings at Mashreq bank may support the market; net profit attributable to shareholders rose to 557.4 million dirhams (151.9 million) from 539.4 million dirhams a year ago.

The market may also welcome the appointment of Ahmed Yousef Abdulla Hussain Khouri as chief executive of Union Properties , which may end a period of uncertainty about the company’s strategy and board control of it. (Reporting by Andrew Torchia)

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