Arab stocks, especially the Palestinian bourse, were hit by losses on the week as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict continued to deter investors, Bakheet Financial Advisors (BFA) reported Saturday, December 9.
Only the KSE index in Kuwait bucked the trend, gaining 1.1 percent to rise to 1,359.00 points on the back of the anticipated announcement of good end-of-year corporate results and after a political crisis was resolved in the emirate.
Weighed down by Israel's blockade of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, the Palestinians' Jerusalem index plunged 4.3 percent, closing the week on 209.20 points, down 11.6 percent on the start of 2000.
The Riyadh-based investment specialists BFA said a disruption in telecommunications links between the bourse and investment companies also hurt the Palestinian index.
With world oil prices going down sharply over the week, the bourses in the six Gulf Arab states all lost ground, apart from the CBQ index in Qatar which stayed unchanged at 210.88 points.
The heaviest dive was in Saudi Arabia, where the NCFEI index lost 4.0 percent to close on 2,184.68 points, dragged down by across-the-board selling, especially in blue chips of the industrial giant Sabic which crashed 5.9 percent.
Oman's MSM index was down 2.8 percent, closing on 202.87 points, with turnover running low as elsewhere in the Gulf during the Muslim dawn-to-dusk fasting month of Ramadan.
Both the Emirati NBAD index and the BSE in Bahrain lost 0.9 percent, weakening to 2,442.75 points and 1,792.88 points respectively.
Elsewhere, Lebanon's BLOM index fell 2.6 percent to 579.22 points as the blue chip Solidere-A lost 3.7 percent on investment pessimism over its financial results for 2000.
Falling to its lowest level in three years, the CSE in Morocco closed the week on 654.92 points, down 2.1 percent.
The best performing Arab bourse in 2000, the Tunindex in Tunisia, weakened 1.2 percent to close on 1,390.01, still up 16.6 percent since the start of the year.
Egypt's Hermes Financial Index slipped 0.8 percent to 7,902.33 points, accumulating a loss of 39.3 percent since year start, while the ASE index in Jordan was down a slight 0.4 percent to close on 133.69 points.—(AFP)
© Agence France Presse 2000
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)