Gulf Arab markets finish Q1 in the red

10:39, April 01, 2011      

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None of the eight stock markets in the Gulf Arab region could advance during the first three months of this year, as protests and civil unrest in the Middle East and North Africa pushed out international investors, while regional traders took a cautious stand.

The local stock market in Kuwait posted the largest loss during the first quarter, closing 9.49 percent lower at 6,295.6 points Thursday.

Earlier in the day, the entire Kuwaiti government resigned to avoid questioning in parliament. The government lasted for only less than two years.

Although Bahrain has been the Gulf country with the worst clashes between demonstrators and security forces, its stock exchange in Manama only lost 0.53 percent during the first quarter, closing at 1,424.64.

Saudi Arabia's Tadawul market was the second best performing bourse among oil-rich Arab states in the Gulf region, as its TASI benchmark lost only 0.88 percent to close at 6,562.85 Wednesday. The Saudi market remains closed Thursdays.

Last Saturday, the Saudi government passed a spending package of 130 billion U.S. dollars to improve job chances for young Saudis and upgrade the country's infrastructure.

In the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the stock markets in Dubai and Abu Dhabi lost 4.57 percent and 4.15 percent during the first three months of this year, closing at 1,556.04 and 2,607.12 respectively. Civil unrest has not happened in the UAE, despite tensions in the region.

Qatar saw its QE Index in Doha declining by 2.6 percent during the same period and finished at 8,456.17. In Oman, the MSM30-Index in Muscat declined by 8.7 percent, closing at 6,167.36.

Source: Xinhua
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