Kuwait bourse slips from nine-month high; small-caps dominate

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Kuwait's bourse eases off a nine-month high as investors book gains, while most other Gulf markets are little changed amid a lack of fresh catalysts to push them higher.

Kuwait's index declines 0.4 percent to 6,383 points, trimming year-to-date gains to 7.6 percent.

Telecom operator Zain dips 1.3 percent and logistics operator Agility sheds 1.8 percent. Seven of the 10 largest stocks trade flat.

Shares in Kuwait Finance House are flat, giving back an early-session rise. The firm reported a 24 percent rise in fourth-quarter profit but trailed analyst estimates.

"Although revenue growth indicators were positive and given available information likely to be within expectations, the levels of provisions taken by the bank lead to the significant mismatch against our forecast," Naveed Ahmed, senior financial analyst at Global Investment House, says in a note.

Small-caps dominate trade, a sign that retail investors are the main sellers on the market.

Investors Holding falls 8.9 percent, Securities House slips 3.9 percent and Gulf Investment House dips 2 percent.

Elsewhere, Dubai's measure gains 0.2 percent to 1,894 points, heading for its second gain in six sessions. The market is up 16.7 percent in 2013, outperforming its regional peers. Investors are drawing confidence from a property market recovery, which may yet prove to be fragile.

Contractor Arabtec rises 2.1 percent and telecom operator du adds 1.4 percent.

Abu Dhabi, Qatar and Oman's measures are little changed.

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