EQUITY MARKETS FELL
Gulf stock markets may lose steam on Sunday after oil and global equities fell on Friday, although bets on positive fourth-quarter corporate results and dividends may support some stocks.
Oil stabilised for a few days last week and this, coupled with some positive earnings and dividend announcements, helped Gulf stock markets rise in strong trading volumes.
But oil resumed its slide on Friday, with Brent briefly falling below $49 per barrel and ending down for a seventh straight week, although prices recovered slightly from their lows after a sharp drop in the U.S. oil rig count.
Equity markets fell on weak data from Europe, adding to worries about tepid growth around the world. The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index lost 1.5 percent, while U.S. benchmarks Dow Jones and S&P 500 fell 1.0 and 0.8 percent respectively.
Industries Qatar, the Middle East's second-biggest petrochemicals company, said late on Thursday that its board had recommended a 2014 dividend of 7 riyals per share.
This may disappoint investors, as the figure is much lower than the 11-riyal payout for 2013 and analysts' average forecast of 11.13 riyals, and be taken as a negative signal for the region's petrochemical stocks in general.
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WNA - Apart from adding capacity, utilisation of existing plants has improved markedly since 2000. In the 1990s capacity factors averaged around 60%, but they have steadily improved since and in 2010, 2011 and 2014 were above 81%. Balakovo was the best plant in 2011 with 92.5%, and again in 2014 with 85.1%.
WNA - India has a flourishing and largely indigenous nuclear power programme and expects to have 14.6 GWe nuclear capacity on line by 2024 and 63 GWe by 2032. It aims to supply 25% of electricity from nuclear power by 2050.
WNA - Mainland China has 38 nuclear power reactors in operation, about 20 under construction, and more about to start construction. The reactors under construction include some of the world's most advanced, to give a 70% increase of nuclear capacity to 58 GWe by 2020-21. Plans are for up to 150 GWe by 2030, and much more by 2050.
PLATTS - "The domestic uranium mining industry needs US government assistance to survive the foreign onslaught -- particularly from Russia and Kazakhstan -- that has undermined the US uranium industry while new players -- particularly China -- will soon make the situation worse," Energy Fuels and Ur-Energy said in a petition they jointly filed with the department.