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Wed 2 Sep 2009 09:40 AM

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Saudi index slips to 7-week low

UPDATE 8: Gulf bourses see low volumes; investors cash in due to souring global mood.

Saudi Arabia's index TASI slumped to a seven-week closing low, although a late rally trimmed losses.

Samba Financial Group, down 1.9 percent, and Saudi Industrial Investment Group down 3.7 percent, were the main drags.

But the benchmark's four largest stocks mounted a sudden surge, with Saudi Telecom Co ending 0.9 percent higher and Al Rajhi Bank rising 0.8 percent.

The index fell 0.3 percent to 5,617 points, its seventh straight decline.

"There's still uncertainty as to what it happening globally and this, together with low Ramadan trading, is creating a flat trend, with a slight downward bias," said a Riyadh-based analyst who asked not to be named.

Less than 59 million shares change hands, the fourth-lowest total of 2009. The three sessions with lower trading all occurred in the past nine days.

Abu Dhabi's index ADI suffered its largest decline for two weeks as property and investments bore the brunt of a broad sell off sparked by sharp declines in global stocks.

Aabar Investments dropped 6.1 percent, taking its losses to 13 percent since it reported a second-quarter of $594m.

Aldar Properties and Sorouh Real Estate fell 4.9 and 4.7 percent respectively.

The above trio account for more than half of all shares changing hands on the index as volumes drop by more than a third from the day before. The benchmark dropped 1.8 percent to 2,859 points.

Losers outnumbered gainers 21 to four, with two of these gainers claiming a combined volume of 150 shares, while the other two fail to muster 200,000 shares traded between them.

Dubai's index DFM also ended lower, falling 0.9 percent to 1,878 points in its third straight decline, tracking losses across the Gulf Arab region.

Emirates NBD was the main drag, dropping 2.4 percent, while Emaar Properties slid 1.5 percent.

Shuaa Capital was one of only three gainers, rising 4.8 percent, taking its gains to 30.4 percent since Saturday, when it said it would issue 515 million shares to Dubai Banking Group (DBG), implementing an agreement to resolve a long-running bond dispute.

"Some investors have been targeting Shuaa since the resolution of the DBG issue and taken it as a positive," said Vyas Jayabhanu, head of investments, Al Dhafra Financial Broker.

Shares of
Kuwait Finance House (KFH)

and Agility led Kuwait's index KWSE lower.

KFH

fell 1.56 percent and Agility slipped 1.59 percent.

The index closed 0.72 percent down to 7,816 points.

Shares of
Industries Qatar

and
Qatar National Bank

weighed on Doha's main index QSI, while Ahli United Bank dragged Bahrain BAX to a lower close.

Industries Qatar

and
Qatar National

fell 2.05 percent and 1.77 percent respectively, pushing Doha 1.28 percent lower to 7,055 points.

In Bahrain, Ahli slipped 0.93 percent leading the benchmark down 0.89 percent to 1,513 points.

Shares of
Bank Dhofar

and
National Bank of Oman

led Muscat's benchmark MSI to a lower end.

Bank Dhofar

ended 0.99 percent down, while
NBO

fell 3.24 percent.

The index edged 0.15 percent lower to 6,371 points. (Reuters)

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