Kuwait slips from nine-month high; Dubai up

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Kuwait's bourse slips from a nine-month high as investors book gains in small-cap stocks following the jailing of three opposition lawmakers, while Dubai's measure rises for a third day.

Kuwait's index slumped to an eight-year low in November at the height of anti-government demonstrations over new voting rules, but stocks subsequently rallied as the febrile political atmosphere eased.

Tuesday's ruling by a Kuwaiti court to three opposition members to prison for comments deemed offensive toward the ruling emir - the second such conviction in three days - was seen as a trigger by some investors to book recent gains.

Opposition followers held demonstrations late Tuesday in reaction to the ruling.

"The market and investors have become more immune by unexpected political standoffs," says Fouad Darwish, head of brokerage at Global Investment House. "The market needs to fall some more so that new positions can come in and inventory builds."

The index falls 0.5 percent to 6,307 points, after rallying for 21 of the last 23 sessions.

Elsewhere, Dubai's markets heads for a ninth gain in the last 10 sessions. It hit a 37-month high last week.

Emaar Properties adds 0.6 percent and Deyaar Development climbs 1.9 percent. The latter posted marginal increase in 2012 profit.

Budget carrier Air Arabia advances 2.1 percent. Investors are expecting strong dividends from the Sharjah-based firm.

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