Saudi Arabia's index advances to a fresh 11-week high, boosted by food stocks, but volumes slump as investors wind down ahead of the upcoming Eid holiday. The bourse rises 0.1 per cent to 6,995 points, its highest close since May 29.
The gain is fuelled by food-related companies, with the agriculture and food index rising 2.1pc. Dairy firm Almarai climbs 2.4pc and Savola Group jumps 2.9pc. The conglomerate is at its highest level in at least two years. However, the number of shares traded on the bourse- just short of 163 million - is the third-lowest of any session in 2012.
Investors will be cutting positions as the retail-dominated market closes for a long holiday at the end of the week to mark Eid. Retail investors usually cash-out on holidays, preferring to hold cash over stocks.
Kuwait's bourse drops to an eight-year closing low as the country's political crisis worsens and the index breaks a critical resistance level to raise the prospect of a free fall in coming days. Kuwait's index slips 0.4pc to 5,679 points, its lowest close since August 2004. The index broke through the support level near 5,680 points, the previous multi-year low hit on Jan. 9. "Overall, the market outlook is bearish to oversold," Global Investment House says in a note. Investment strategy for medium-term--11-week -- and long-term--50 weeks-- investors is to enter the market at levels higher than 5,910 point and 6,050 point, respectively, it adds.
Trading volumes generally have lessened as investors interest in the market fades but small-caps suffered declines. Al Safwa Group Holding drops 7.7pc, Kuwait Real Estate sheds 1.1pc and Kuwait International Bank slips 1.6pc.
In the United Arab Emirates, the twin bourses end mixed as investors book recent gains in Dubai, which hit a three-month high last Sunday. The emirate's measure slips 0.3pc to 1,568 points, down for a fourth session in the last five. Abu Dhabi's index advances 0.2pc to 2,541 points, to close at fresh four-month high, with banks supporting. First Gulf Bank and Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank add 1.4 and 0.3pc respectively. Elsewhere, Oman's index edges up 0.2pc to close at 5,473 points as local funds pick up financial stocks. Bank Muscat rises 0.9pc, Ahli Bank gains 2pc and Oman International Development and Investment Co adds 0.4pc. In Qatar, the index eases 0.1pc to 8,405 points, slipping from Thursday's 10-week high amid slight profit-taking.
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