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MIDEAST STOCKS-Dubai hits 2-month high, Saudi hurt by financials

(Adds word costs, paragraph 13) By Nafisa Eltahir DUBAI, Feb 24 (Reuters) - Dubai stocks rose to a more than 2-month high on Sunday after falling in the previous session, helped by strong gains in property stocks, while financials weighed on both the Saudi and Qatari markets.

Dubai's index was up 1.3 percent, supported by Emaar Properties, which gained 3.2 percent, DAMAC Properties surged 8.4 percent and Emaar Malls rose 5.1 percent.

Emirates NBD Bank fell 5.3 percent after the bank last week announced it has received approval from its shareholders to issue new shares.

Property firms have led a recent rally after signs of recovery in their fourth-quarter results and more construction contracts.

However they remain vulnerable to falling property prices.

Dubai residential property prices, which have fallen 25 to 33 percent in nominal terms since 2014, are likely to fall another 5 to 10 percent this year, S&P Global Ratings said last week.

Saudi Arabia's Tadawul index fell 0.4 percent, weighed down primarily by Al Rajhi Banking which fell almost 1 percent. Market heavyweight Saudi Basic Industries was down 0.7 percent.

The Saudi market is consolidating after a strong rally in January due to an increase in foreign fund flows ahead of the market's inclusion in key emerging market benchmarks later this year. The index is up 9 percent year to date.

The Qatari index was flat with lender Masraf Al Rayan up 2.5 percent, but the Gulf's biggest lender Qatar National Bank was down 1.5 percent.

Mesaieed Petrochemical Holding, which index compiler FTSE Russell said will still be included in its emerging market index but with an increased free float, was down 0.23 percent.

The Abu Dhabi index was up nearly 1 percent with First Abu Dhabi Bank gaining almost 1.7 percent.

Egyptian stocks, which have been Middle East's biggest gainer this year, were down 1.3 percent with Commercial International Bank Egypt down 2.2 percent.

Egyptian stocks are still up 14.7 percent so far this year amid a recent recovery in emerging markets and an expected drop in borrowing costs after the central bank recently cut interest rates.

SAUDI ARABIA The index down 0.4 pct to 8,513 points DUBAI The index up 1.3 pct at 2,669 points ABU DHABI The index up 0.8 pct to 5,140 points Qatar The index flat at 10,190 points EGYPT The index down 1.3 pct to 14,955 points KUWAIT The market was closed due to a public holiday BAHRAIN The index up 0.80 pct to 1,415 points OMAN The index flat at 4,053 points (Reporting by Nafisa Eltahir; editing by Jason Neely)