Bad Week for Arab Stocks in Fallout from Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
Arab stocks had a poor week, especially the Palestinian bourse which fell 3.3 percent, in continuing fallout from the Middle East crisis, Bakheet Financial Advisors (BFA) reported on Saturday.
Only the bourses in Tunisia, Jordan and Lebanon bucked the trend, while the other nine markets in BFA's weekly survey of Arab stocks went down.
The Jerusalem index of the Palestinian territories slumped to 218.59 points due to Israel's "attacks on Palestinian civilians and the economy", the Riyadh-based investment specialists said.
BFA said investors in most of the rest of the Arab world, where the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan also slows trading, were still influenced by the nine-week-old violence between Israel and the Palestinians.
Markets in the Gulf were all down, notably the MSM index in Oman where profit-taking after a strong two-week rally sent prices down 1.5 percent to a close of 208.69 points.
The NCFEI in Saudi Arabia weakened 1.0 percent to close on 2,274.76 points, mainly due to downward pressure on blue chips.
Bahrain's BSE index and the KSE in Kuwait were down by 0.7 percent and 0.6 percent respectively, closing on 1,808.98 points and 1,344.20 points. The NBAD in the Emirates slipped 0.2 percent to close on 2,471.14 points.
And in Qatar, the CBQ shed 0.1 percent, closing on 210.80 points.
The other losers on the week were the CSE index in Morocco that declined 1.3 percent to 669.15 points, while the Hermes Financial Index in Egypt closed on 7,969.77 points, losing 0.3 percent.
Egypt is the Arab world's worst performer in 2000, losing 38.8 percent.
At the other end of the scale, Tunisia was up another 1.1 percent, closing on 1,406.84 points. It is the Arab world's best performing market this year, having grown 18 percent.
Trading in industrial shares sent Jordan's ASE index up 1.0 percent to 134.20 points, while the BLOM index in Lebanon made a slight 0.1 percent gain to close on 594.45 points – RIYADH (AFP)
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)