Trading in the Arab stock markets ended the week with three bourses closing higher, seven lower and one remaining unchanged. The top winners were the Kuwaiti and Lebanese exchanges, having surged 2.9 and 2.1 percent respectively, to close at 1,648.10 points and 511.53 points, reported AFP news agency.
The surge in Kuwait’s KSE index—the best performer of the year—is attributed to the flood of capital into the country as investors confidence continues to rise due to strong corporate results expected for the second quarter of 2001. The index has gained 329.9 points since it hit a five-year low on January 14, and has risen more than 20 percent since the start of the year.
Although Lebanon's BLOM index has recently demonstrated increased volatility with last week’s 4.6 percent fall and the previous week’s 7.8 percent surge, it ended the week 2.1 percent higher on account of the rise in share prices of market-leader Solidere.
Saudi Arabia’s NCFEI all-shares index gained 1.5 percent to close on 2,408.41 points, mainly due to the recent signing of gas projects with oil majors and the government’s decision to cut customs duties on imports.
Although the Jerusalem index of the Palestinian territories has gained 1.5 percent on the back of a declared ceasefire in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, it is still 18.7 percent lower since the beginning year. The Hermes Financial Index in Egypt closed a mere 0.1 percent higher at 6,300.35 points.
The week’s worst performers were Oman’s MSM index and Tunisia’s Tunidex, both having lost 1.3 percent to close at 161.62 points and 1,324.76 points respectively. The week’s drop has lead Oman’s bourse to reach its lowest level since January 1996, with a total loss of 19.9 percent since the beginning of the year.
Jordan’s ASE index closed 0.8 percent lower at 141.03 points, whereas both the BSE in Bahrain and the NBAD index in the United Arab Emirates slipped 0.4 percent, to close on 1,711.34 points and 2,498.93 points respectively.
Morocco's CSE index fell 1.1 percent to 639.29 points, while Qatar's CBQ remained unchanged at 239.36 points. — (MENA Report)
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