Kuwait stock market edges 0.4 percent down on week
The Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE) edged down 0.4 percent in the week closing Wednesday October 10, taking the index below the 1,600-point psychological barrier for the second consecutive week as uncertainty over the outcome of US-led strikes on Afghanistan continued to grip the market.
The KSE index closed at 1,589.9 points, up 17.9 percent on the year but still down 43.9 percent on its all-time high of November 1997. "Investors are reluctant because uncertainty is high," leading economist Jassim Al-Saadun told AFP.
"There is uncertainty on almost all fronts. The consequences of what is happening militarily (in Afghanistan), how the world economy is affecting regional economies, and whether or not the Kuwait Investment Authority will interfere in the market, are all making investors feel uncertain," Saadun said.
He stressed that the unfavorable conditions of the world economy have caused a volatile local market and that liquidity is weak. The KSE index has been wavering around the 1,600-mark since falling below it on September 30.
The market is down 10.3 percent since the devastating September 11 terror attacks in the United States that left thousands dead. Previously, the bourse had been booming, with the index rallying past 1,700 points for the first time since December 1998 after dropping to a five-year low in January.
The rise was attributed to a number of government economic reform decisions and the strong price of oil, which supplies the emirate's budget with 90 percent of its revenue. The KSE is the second largest stock exchange in the Arab world in terms of capitalization after Saudi Arabia's NCFEI index. — (AFP, Kuwait City)
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