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Sun 4 Nov 2012 11:52 AM

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Kuwait slumps to new eight-year low; Qatar down

Kuwait's bourse slumped to a new eight-year low ahead of a planned protest on Sunday

Kuwait slumps to new eight-year low; Qatar down
(AFP/Getty Images)

Kuwait's bourse slumped to a new eight-year low ahead of a planned protest on Sunday, but volumes are thin as nervous investors stay away.

The index slips 0.5 percent to 5,631 points, slumping to its lowest level since July 2004.

Kuwait said it had not issued a permit to allow a planned protest on Sunday against new voting rules and the prime minister warned police would use force if the nation was under threat.

Eight of the ten largest stocks by market value trade flat. Kuwait Finance House and National Mobile Telecommunications Co (Wataniya) decline 1.3 and 3.7 percent respectively.

"Not many people are selling, trading values are low - people are scared to leave or to enter the market," says Fouad Darwish, head of brokerage at Global Investment House.

Unlike other Gulf countries, few Kuwait companies have reported third-quarter earnings, delaying disclosure to limit the negative impact from the political scene on their stocks, he adds.

Small-caps dominate trade, signalling mostly retail investor activity. National Ranges is the most active stock, falling 5.6 percent. Ithmaar Bank sheds 2.1 percent and Manazel Holding drops percent.

Elsewhere, Qatar's benchmark slips 0.1 percent to 8,594 points, easing away from a six-week high.

Investors book profit on heavyweight Industries Qatar . Shares in the petrochemical and metals firm decline 0.8 percent, down from Thursday's four-year high.

UAE markets trade near-flat. Dubai's index ticks up 0.08 percent to 1,624 points and Abu Dhabi's measure rises 0.03 percent to 2,674 points.