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Kuwait market closes in red zone, volume drops

KUWAIT CITY, Dec 22: Kuwait stocks pulled lower on Tuesday extending the losses to third consecutive session. The Al Shares Index gave up early gains to close 29.63 points down at 5,558.49 pts weighed mostly by blue chips even as the overall mood remained downbeat.

The Premier Market slid 41.98 pts to 6,080.49 points while Main Market gave up 4.15 pts. The BK 50 Main index fell 3.41 points to close at 4,609.74 pts. The volume turnover meanwhile hit a two-week low. Over 166 million shares changed hands – down 22 pct from the day before.

The sectors closed mostly in red turf. Insurance outshone the rest with 4.32 pct jump whereas Technology slid 3.71 percent, the biggest loser of the day. Volume wise, Financial Services topped the volume with 46.8 million shares while Banking sector continued to dominate with KD 15.7 million. Among the day’s losers, sector bellwether National Bank of Kuwait slipped 5 fils to 843 fils after trading 4.8 million shares and Kuwait Finance House followed suit to close at 677 fils with a volume of 6.2 million. Boubyan Bank too gave up 5 fils while Mabanee Co was down 10 fils at 656 fils extending an identical loss in the day before. NAPESCO dived 58 fils to KD 1.102. Zain eased 2 fils to 615 fils after pushing 3.5 million shares while Ooredoo inched 1 fil higher to 624 fils. stc took in 2 fils whereas logistics major Agility was down 8 fils at 676 fils with a volume of 3.5 million shares. Humansoft Holding shed 10 fils and Boursa gave up 4 fils before settling at KD 1.115. KIPCO was fl at at 153 fils after trading 1.2 million shares and KAMCO ticked 0.2 fils higher. National Investment Co and Noor Financial Investment stood pat at 135 fils and 171 fils respectively whereas KMEFIC took in 1 fils with razor thin volume. Gulf Insurance Co soared 68 fils to 748 fils while Gulf Insurance Co scaled 18 fils.

The market opened gap down and slipped further in early trade. The main index plumbed the day’s lowest level of 5,542 pts and headed north amid a moderate bout of buying in select counters. It continued to drift higher and peaked at 5580 points well past the mid-session before slipping back into red at close. Top gainer of the day, Massaleh sprinted 19.11 pct to 34.9 fils while NCCI climbed 12.75 percent to stand next. Al Rai Media Group skidded 9.61 percent, the steepest decliner of the day and Ahli United Bank topped the volume with 12.9 million shares. Refl ecting the day’s drop, the market spread as heavily skewed towards the losers. 35 stocks advanced whereas 76 closed lower. Of the 125 counters active on Tuesday, 14 closed fl at. 9,528 deals worth KD 33.72 million were transacted during the session. National Industries Group eased 1 fil to 182 fils after pushing 1.7 million shares and Mezzan Holding followed suit to end at 608 fils. Boubyan Petrochemical Co fell 3 fils to 622 fils while Al Qurain Petrochemical Co clipped 1 fil. Integrated Holding slipped 5 fils to 377 fils and Aznoula closed 3 fils in red. Jazeera Airways dropped 21 fils to 682 fils after pushing 1.2 million shares whereas ALAFCO paused at 202 fils with a volume of 4.8 million shares. Burgan Well Drilling Co paced 10 fils whereas UPAC shed 16 fils to close at 260 fils. Oula Fuel trimmed 1 fil whereas Soor and Inovest paused at 121 fils. and 68 fills respectively. Bareeq fell 3.9 fils to 71.1 fils. Kuwait Cement Co fell 5 fils to 228 fils and Kuwait Portland Cement gained 13 fils. NICBM eased 1 fil to 153 fils whereas Warba Cap inched 0.5 fil into green. ACICO gave up 1.6 fils whereas Kuwait National Cinema Co slid 39 fils to 750 fils. Sultan Centre fell 4.3 fils to 96.7 fils while Automated Systems Co clipped 2.6 fils. Kuwait Foundry Co erased 3 fils before ending at 270 fils and Gulf Cable shed 22 fils. Independent Petroleum Group slipped 6 fils to 450 fils and Kuwait Gulf Links Transport Co dialed down 1.9 fils. KCPC pared 2 fils whereas Gulf Petroleum Investment stood pat at 19.2 fils.

In the banking sector, Gulf Bank and Kuwait International Bank dialed down 2 fils each whereas Burgan Bank eased 1 fil ro 210 fils after moving 2.3 million shares. Ahli United Bank trimmed 2 fils with brisk trading while Warba Bank eased 1 fil. Commercial Bank rose 5 fils to 505 fils. The market has been eroding so far during the week shedding 84 points in last three sessions. It has scaled 100 points from start of the month but is down 724 points year-to-date.

By John Mathews Arab Times Staff

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