The Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE) edged down slightly on the week ending Wednesday amid fresh threats by Iraqi President Saddam Hussein against the emirate's leaders but trading remained active, brokers said.
The KSE index closed 0.15 percent down at 1,441.1 points, just off its 1999 closing but still a staggering 49.2 percent lower than its all-time record high in November 1997.
Although the market began the week on a positive note, it shed 9.3 points on Tuesday, the day after Saddam renewed threats against both Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, accusing them of trying to provoke Baghdad into a confrontation.
But the value of average daily trading on the bourse was 38.4 million dollars, twice the amount recorded in the previous week.
Most of the demand was for blue chip stocks, led by the emirate's leading bank, National Bank of Kuwait (NBK), and a number of industrial and services companies, a broker said.
Confidence levels on the market have been boosted over the past months by high oil prices, the settlement of billions of dollars of bad debt and the introduction of regulations allowing foreigners to own stocks and trade on the bourse.
Some 87 companies with market capitalization of 21 billion dollars are listed on the KSE, the second largest bourse in the Arab world after the NCFEI in Saudi Arabia.
©Agence France Presse 2000
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)