UPDATE 5: Index ends lower for 6th day running, as oil prices continue to weigh on sentiment.
Saudi stocks extended losses, ending lower for a sixth consecutive day, as oil prices continued to weigh on investors' sentiment.
The index fell 0.5 percent to 6,003 points. Heavyweights Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) and Samba Financial Group fell 1.2 percent and 2.2 percent respectively.
US crude oil fell to a three-week low on Friday as bearish US job data sparked fears of a double dip recession.
Kuwait stocks declined for a third consecutive session, amid low trading volumes, as investors continued to fret about the global economy.
The Kuwait index dropped 1.7 percent to 6,321 points. It fell by a similar margin on Thursday.
"Economists recently declared that they fear that despite of the prevailing optimism that the economic crisis might end in the near future, the possibilities that it could worsen also remains as the international economies still did not give a significant sign of a recovery," said Global Investment House in a research note.
"This negative view is highly affecting the regional stock markets as well as the Kuwaiti bourse which showed a dramatic drop since April 6th (its year high)," it added.
"Moreover, dull expectations over the six months corporate results and the end of the current financial period, participated in enticing the selling pressure which took the index to further lower levels specially with the end of the latest financial period."
All bluechips contributed to Kuwait's decline, including Zain, which fell 3.6 percent.
Abu Dhabi edged 0.2 percent higher led by Aabar. The investment firm ended 3.5 percent higher.
The firm launched a syndication of a $2 billion loan that will mature on May 21, bankers close to the deal said.
Dubai's index inched 0.1 percent lower to 1,468 points, led by du, which declined 3 percent.
A local newspaper on Friday said du will gain access to the network of its rival and market leader Etisalat.
Qatar stocks retreated for a sixth consecutive session, hitting their lowest level since since June 7, on low oil prices and as investors remained cautious ahead of earnings season.
Qatar's index fell 1.2 percent to 6,767 points.
Qatar Gas Transport (Nakilat) was the most active stock as it declined 2.2 percent.
Oman's bourse gained 0.1 percent to 6,081 points.
"Oman continues to trade sideways after persistent global fears and the downward movement of oil prices," said Gunjan Gupta, head of research at Oman Arab Bank.
"Volumes are on the weak side as the market seems to be on hold ahead of earnings season. Despite having enough liquidity, investors are hesitant to enter the market, but by the end of this week we expect speculators will become more active as results rumours hit the market," he added. (Reuters)