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Kuwait, Dubai Shares Lead Gulf Markets Lower on Gaza Tension

Kuwait shares fell for the first time in four days, leading Gulf markets lower, on concern tensions may escalate in the region after the Israeli army clashed with pro-Palestinian activists on ships carrying humanitarian aid.

Kuwait Portland Cement Co., the importer and exporter of cement, declined to the lowest in two months. Emaar Properties PJSC, developer of the world’s tallest skyscraper, fell and Aramex PJSC had the biggest loss since April 18. The Kuwait Stock Exchange Index fell 1.7 percent to 6,699.7, the lowest since Dec. 7. The gauge lost 8.2 percent this month. The Bloomberg GCC 200 Index, which tracks 200 equities, slipped 0.4 percent. The DFM General Index slid 1.4 percent.

More than 10 people were killed after Israeli commandos intercepted a flotilla of ships carrying aid supplies to the Gaza Strip, the Israeli army said. Turkey’s Foreign Ministry called the raid “inhuman” and said it “may cause damage to our relations that will be impossible to repair.” Turkey’s ISE National 100 Index lost 1.6 percent at 5:15 p.m. in Dubai and Israel’s benchmark index fell 1.3 percent.

“Investors are worried that the political tension between Turkey and Israel will put a strain on Turkey’s economy, and drag Europe’s markets down,” said Kifah Maharmeh, general manager of Al Dar Shares & Bonds in Abu Dhabi.

Kuwait Portland Cement declined 4.4 percent to 1,320 fils. Emaar retreated 1.8 percent, the most since May 25, to 3.35 dirhams. Aramex, the Middle East’s biggest courier company, fell 2.8 percent to 1.4 dirhams.

Qatar’s QE Index dropped 0.6 percent, Abu Dhabi’s gauge lost 1.2 and Bahrain’s measure fell 0.3 percent. Oman’s MSM30 Index slid 0.4 percent, while Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul All Share Index gained 0.6 percent.

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