In a mixed week for the Arab financial markets, the hardest hit were the Palestinian and Omani exchanges, crashing 5.9 percent and 3.7 percent respectively, reported the Bakheet Financial Advisors (BFA) on Saturday, April 21.
Oman's MSM index hit its lowest level since June 1996, due to a liquidity shortage that brought the index down to 174.91 points. The Jerusalem index of the Palestinian territories plunged 5.9 percent to close the week on 145.70 points, and has lost 44 percent of its value since Israeli-Palestinian clashes broke out in September.
Most of the remaining Gulf Arab indexes gained on in last week’s trading as local investors shed away from the turbulent world markets. Kuwait’s KSE index was the best performer of the week, up 2.2 percent to 1,460 points, due to investor optimism with regards to corporate results for the first quarter of 2001.
The UAE’s NBAD index rose a mere 0.3 percent to 2,484.16 points; Qatar's CBQ gained 1.2 percent, closing at 208.07 points, while Saudi Arabia’s NCFEI index and Bahrain's BSE both inched up one percent, closing on 2,275.38 points and 1,705.95 points respectively.
While Lebanon’s BLOM index remained unchanged at 498.62 points, Jordan's ASE rose 0.6 percent to end the week on 138.78 points.
In Northern Africa, among the losers was Egypt’s Hermes Financial Index, which lost three percent to close on 6,104.23 points in a short week with only three trading days. The loss was attributed to profit taking and increased anxiety in the region. The Casablanca Stock Exchange also shed 1.3 percent, closing at 672.90 points, as Moroccan investors remain hesitant prior to the government’s decision on increasing investment in the stock market. — (Albawaba-MEBG)
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