Fears of war ravaged Arab stock markets for the second week running, with Egypt again by far the worst hit, although Lebanon rose nearly four percent, Bakheet Financial Advisors (BFA) said Saturday.
"Arab investors were upset with the recent Israeli attacks on Palestinian civilians," the Riyadh-based investment specialists said.
In Cairo, the Hermes Financial Index collapsed 13 percent to 6,076.31 points, its lowest level in six years.
BFA blamed regional tensions on top of "selling pressure to get cash money to benefit from the privatisation of Egypt Telecom."
Lebanon's BLOM index halted a recent downward slide, gaining 3.7 percent to close at 640.54 on expectation that Rafiq Hariri will return as prime minister.
The Tunindex in Tunisia slipped just 0.6 percent to 1,418.06 points, while in Morocco, the Casablanca Stock Exchange index dropped 1.2 percent to 715.34 points.
All the Gulf markets were negative despite higher oil prices.
Bahrain's BSE Index again suffered most in the Gulf, down 2.9 percent to 1,783.90, followed by Qatar's CBQ index, which lost 1.9 percent to end at 202.68.
Oman's MSM index dropped 1.2 percent to 191.60 and Saudi Arabia's NCFEI dipped 1.1 percent to 2,333.66.
Kuwait's KSE shed 0.9 percent to 1,427.00, while the NBAD in the Emirates weakened 0.7 percent to 2,571.35 points.
The Amman Stock Exchange index lost 1.2 percent to close at 132.56, as most investors "took to the sidelines in wait-and-see mood," BFA said.
The Al-Quds index of the Palestinian territories remained closed because of the Israel-Palestinian turmoil. – (AFP)
© Agence France Presse 2000
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )