Mideast Stocks: Egypt snaps winning streak, while MSCI upgrade keeps lifting Kuwait

Property shares strong in Abu Dhabi

Kuwaiti stock trader Ali Fares watches a computer screen at the Kuwait Stock Exchange floor

Kuwaiti stock trader Ali Fares watches a computer screen at the Kuwait Stock Exchange floor

REUTERS/Stephanie McGehee

Egypt's blue-chip index snapped four straight days of gains on Thursday as most of its stocks dropped, while Kuwait rose for the sixth consecutive session after MSCI decided to upgrade Kuwaiti equities to its main emerging markets index.

Egypt's blue-chip index slipped into negative territory after four days of gains. The index was down 0.9% with Egypt Kuwait Holding losing 4.2%.

Egypt's current account deficit widened to $7.6 billion in the first nine months of the fiscal year from $5.47 billion a year earlier, while net foreign direct investments narrowed in the same period.

The Saudi index slipped 0.1% led by a 0.4% fall in Saudi Basic Industries and a 0.7% drop in Riyad Bank .

Yanbu National Petrochemicals dropped a further 1.3% after falling 2.7% the previous day when it traded ex-dividend.

Qatar's index dipped 0.2%, putting an end to a five-day winning streak. Market heavyweight Industries Qatar lost 0.6% and Qatar Insurance decreased 1.4%.

The index has been gaining in recent sessions as a 10-to-one stock split for companies on the exchange is being phased in from June 9 and will be completed by July 7. The move is designed to boost liquidity by encouraging smaller investors to buy shares.

In Dubai, the index also slid 0.2 giving up early gains, with its largest lender Emirates NBD losing 0.4%.

Kuwait's index added 0.6%. Last week, index compiler MSCI said it would move Kuwaiti equities to its main emerging markets index in 2020, a move that could trigger billions of dollars of inflows. 

Kuwait has outperformed its Gulf peers in anticipation of the MSCI move, gaining over 24% in the year-to-date.

Middle Eastern funds plan to continue increasing investments in Kuwait over the next three months, a Reuters poll found earlier this week. 

The Abu Dhabi index rose 0.2% mainly helped by its property developer Aldar Properties which closed 2.6% higher.

($1 = 3.7502 riyals)

(Reporting by Ateeq Shariff in Bengaluru Editing by Edmund Blair) ((AteeqUr.Shariff@thomsonreuters.com; +918067497129;))

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