Kuwait Shares Fall to 16-Month Low on Growth Risk, Oil; Dubai Shares Gain

Kuwait shares fell to the lowest in 16 months, leading Gulf markets lower, on concern the global recovery will falter as China’s growth slowed and Moody’s Investors Service signaled it may cut Spain’s credit rating.

The Kuwait SE Price Index retreated 1.7 percent to 6,431.7 at the close in Kuwait City, the lowest level since March 2009, taking this week’s decline to 2.9 percent. Gulf Cable and Electrical Industries Co., a maker of electrical equipment, led the drop and Agility slumped 7.9 percent. Bahrain’s gauge lost 1.2 percent to 1,379.98, the lowest since at least July 2004, when Bloomberg started tracking the index. Oil fell to the lowest in two weeks.

Stocks from the Gulf “are taking cues from the global economic outlook, which seems to be in somewhat of a flux,” said Saud Masud, a Dubai-based analyst at UBS AG.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index tumbled 1.3 percent as China’s Shanghai Composite Index dropped for a seventh consecutive day. China’s Purchasing Managers’ Index fell to a lower-than-forecast 52.1 in June from 53.9 in May. A reading of above 50 signals expansion. Spain’s Aaa credit ranking was placed on review for a possible downgrade by Moody’s, helping send the Stoxx Europe 600 Index lower 1.6 percent.

Oil at 2-Week Low

Crude fell as much as 1.9 percent to $74.21 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange, its lowest since June 14. The six nations of the Gulf Cooperation Council supply about a fifth of the world’s oil.

The Bloomberg GCC 200 Index slid 0.4 percent. Gulf Cable lost 3.6 percent, the most since March 7, to 1,620 fils. Agility, the Middle East’s largest storage and logistics company, slumped to 290 fils.

Dubai’s DFM General Index rose 0.6 percent, ending five days of declines, to 1,469.98. Nakheel PJSC said yesterday it began making payments to its biggest contractors as the Dubai World-owned property company seeks new terms on $10.5 billion of unpaid bills and loans.

“While Nakheel payments are a positive step, investors are more concerned about the broader health of the property market, and the potential for another round of liquidity crunch in six to nine months time,” Masud said.

Oman’s MSM 30 Index gained 0.2 percent. Dhofar International Development and Investment Holding Co., Financial Services Co., Global Financial Investment, Gulf Investment Services Co. and National Aluminum Production joined the index today. Dhofar, an investor in banks, ports and power stations in Oman, rose 1 percent and Gulf Investment gained 3.1 percent.

Qatar’s QE Index retreated 0.8 percent and Abu Dhabi’s gauge decreased 0.2 percent. Saudi Arabia’s market was closed for the weekend.

To contact the reporter on this story: Zahra Hankir in Dubai at zhankir@bloomberg.net

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