x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Investors focus on Kuwait as Gulf nation announces Q1 results

Markets Update: Regional markets were largely in negative territory on fears of slowing economic growth worldwide, but attention was on Kuwait's market as first quarter results were announced - with video.

Kuwait's market was on investors' radar this morning as it became one of the last Gulf nations to report first quarter results.

Agility, the Kuwaiti storage and transport company said first quarter profile fell to 7.7 million dinars from 17.6m dinars a year earlier. Despite this, the shares gained 1.3 per cent to 375 fils.

Elsewhere in Kuwait, Gulf Cable & Electriccal Industries, the maker of electrical equipment said first quarter earnings rose to 5.9 million dinars from 3 million dinars a year earlier. Its shares initially retreated 2.5 per cent but were trading flat at 1,540 fils.

Amjad Bakir, the trading manager at Menacorp Alternative Investments, said attention would also turn to Hits Telecom, after speculation that the company would announce better than expected first quarter earnings today.

Shares in the company climbed nearly 5 per cent to 65 fils on Kuwait's measure.

The country's benchmark index gained 0.2 per cent at 6,454.80 points.

Dubai's market traded 0.2 per cent lower at 1,583.20 points as property stocks dragged down the wider benchmark.

Arabtec Holding fell 0.7 per cent to Dh1.34 at the opening bell and Emaar Properties, the builder of the Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest tower, also fell 0.6 per cent to Dh3.15.

"[The Dubai market] has to stabilise above 1,580 points if it is to reach 1,600 points but if it closes under there will be selling pressure," said Mr Bakir, as 1,600 points is seen by some as a psychological level for the emirate's market to sustain gains.

In the capital, Aldar Properties slumped 0.7 per cent to Dh1.44. Abu Dhabi's market slipped 0.1 per cent to 2,652.50 points.

Analysts said renewed eurozone debt fears and concern on slowing global economic growth would also likely weigh on regional markets.

Oil prices have languished from two and a half year highs, and are expected to continue trading downwards in the short-term.

Brent crude fell nearly 1 per cent to $113.04 per barrel.