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Sun 4 May 2008 06:49 PM

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Kuwait hits fresh all-time high in intraday trading

Index climbs 1.14% to 14,923.20 points after hitting 14,923.30 during session.

Kuwait's main index hit a fresh lifetime high in intraday trading on Sunday, buoyed by hopes that upcoming parliamentary elections would boost the stock market.

Elsewhere Abu Dhabi hit a record high of its own, with Dubai and Qatar also posted positive returns, but Saudi Arabia, Oman and Bahrain all finished the day in negative territory.

Kuwait's main index closed near a record high, helped by financial stocks. National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) and National Industries Group rose 2.02% and 2.33% respectively.

The index rose 1.14% to 14,923.20 points, after hitting a life-time high of 14,923.30 points during the session.

"Investors are waiting to see what will happen in the election. If it's positive, then the market will remain in good shape," said Abdulmohsen Al-Bahar, director of asset management at Noor Investment, quoted Reuters.

UAE markets were helped by real estate and banking stocks, after the UAE central bank last week matched the US Federal Reserve's interest rate cut and reduced its overnight repurchase rate - the rate at which banks borrow from the central bank - to 2% from 2.5%.

RELATED: Gulf states toe Fed's line, cut rates

In Abu Dhabi National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) climbed 1.9% and Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (Taqa) 4.36%.

The main index edged up 0.41% to 5,045.46 points, after hitting a more than a two-year high of 5,047.79 points during trading. Abu Dhabi has surged almost 11% since April 1.

Emaar Properties gained 0.86%, pushing Dubai's benchmark 0.47% higher to 5,842.87 points. Dubai has surged 9.2% since April 1.

"There is positive sentiment in the market as the interest rate cut will increase liquidity in the market as investors are encouraged to invest in the high-yielding stock market rather than keep their money in bank deposits," Alaa El Din Moustafa, chief dealer at EFG-Hermes, told newswire Reuters.

In Doha, Qatar Gas Transport Company (Nakilat) and Qatar Real Estate Company gained 2.49% and 6.71% respectively. The benchmark climbed 0.5% to 11,372.63 points.

Shares of Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (Sabic) and Al-Rajhi Bank pulled Saudi's main index to a lower close for the third consecutive session.

Sabic and Al-Rajhi fell 1.16% and 0.26% respectively. The benchmark edged down 0.02% to 10,055.23points. It is down 8.87% this year, making it the Gulf Arab region's worst performer.

Shares of telecom Omantel and Oman National Investment Company pulled Muscat's main index to a lower close.

Omantel and Oman National Investment shed 0.1% and 1.28% respectively. The benchmark, the best performing measure in the Gulf Arab region this year, declined 0.13% to 11,247.94 points.

Bahrain's measure closed down 0.42% at 2,829.65 points, led by Ahli United Bank and Gulf Finance House, which shed 1.64% and 0.49%.