(MENAFN - Arab Times) Kuwait stocks retreated on Sunday, extending the fall from the last session.
The index pulled 23.6 points lower in a moderately broad decline led by select blue chips. Some of the mid-priced stocks too wilted amid weak sentiments even as investors toed the sidelines.
The bourse wound up at 6313.30 points paring steeper losses earlier in the day, while weighted index inched 1.74 points down to settle at 440.8. The trading level was extremely anemic with volume turnover hitting 55.07 million - down 21 percent from the day before and the lowest in more than 2 years.
Zain dropped 20 fils after stagnating on Thursday and closed at KD 1.040. The counter saw a volume of 1.21 million shares. The stock was weighed by the company's announcement earlier last week said that the due diligence is yet to start on its stake sale in Saudi unit.
Agility fell 5 fils extending an identical fall in the last two sessions and wound up at KD 0.325. The stock had slid 50 fils during May and is down 50 fils since start of the month. Wataniya Telecom held the ground unchanged at KD 1.980 recovering from shallow trough earlier in the day.
Among other notable decliners, National Investment Co eased 6 fils to KD 0.240 with a volume of 1.44 million shares and KIPCO shed 5 fils to close at KD 0.390. International Finance Company was down 4 fils after stagnating on Thursday. The company has won Central Bank of Kuwait's approval for its request to buy back up to 10% of its issued shares for a six-month period.
The market opened weak and drifted lower in early trade as investors exited some of the heavyweights and mid-priced stocks. The index continued to erode steadily amid dull sentiments and bottomed at 6306.6 points well past the mid-session. However it managed to claw back slightly at close.
The bourse signed up to implement the Nasdaq OMX trading platform in the first half of 2011, Reuters quoted a Kuwait-based trader. "Investors are not happy with how the whole process is going and people think the market will tank so you have a day like today with low volumes." Hurdles to implement the new system include annual fees, the need for additional capital and lack of preparation on part of the brokerages, he added. Top gainer of the day, Gulf Petroleum Investment Co climbed 5.8 percent to KD 0.036 while Al Ahliea Holding Co rose 4 percent to stand next. Housing Finance Co (Iskan) slid 8.4 percent - the steepest decliner of the day, while Kuwait Real Estate Co topped the volume with 9.12 million shares.
Mirroring the day's decline, losers outnumbered the gainers. 11 stocks advanced while 47 closed lower. Of the 84 counters active on Sunday, 25 closed flat. 1097 deals worth KD 8.108 million were transacted - down 37.3 percent in value over previous session.
Burgan Bank dropped 10 fils after stagnating in the previous session while Kuwait International Bank edged 5 fils lower. Sector bellwether National Bank of Kuwait was unchanged at KD 1.180 after trading lower earlier in the session.
National Industries Group fell 5 fils to KD 0.250 and Kuwait Pipes was down 4 fils at KD 0.192. United Industries Co eroded 4 fils while Boubyan International Industries Holding Co and Equipment Holding Co fell 2 fils each. Boubyan Petrochemical dropped 10 fils to KD 0.570 whereas Gulf Cables climbed 20 fils to KD 1.560.
Kuwait Gulf Links slipped 2 fils to settle at KD 0.140 while NAPESCO shed 15 fils to end at KD 0.300. IFA Hotels and Resorts Co dropped 20 fils and Jazeeera Airways closed 6 fils lower.
Bayan Investment Co inched 0.5 fils higher whereas Global Investment House was down 0.5 fils at KD 0.042. Osoul Investment Co dropped 4 fils and Housing Finance Co eased 5 fils.
Kuwait Food Co was stagnant at KD 1.600 after posting strong gains in the previous session and United Gulf Bank too did not budge from its earlier close. The lender has posted a net profit of 4.8 million for the first quarter of 2011, down from 7.5 million profit in the same period last year.
On the upside, Kuwait Finance House climbed 20 fils to KD 1.020 and Ahli United Bank added 10 fils to close at KD 0.780. Gulf Bank, Ahli United Bank and Commercial Bank were not traded during the session. CBK has won the Central Bank's approval for its extension request to buy back or sell up to 10% of its issued shares over a six-month period.
In the real estate sector, Mabanee Co dropped 10 fils to KD 0.870 and Kuwait Remal Real Estate Co followed suit. National Real Estate Co ticked 2 fils lower to KD 0.089. NREC has posted a net profit of KD 886,034 in the first three months of the year and an EPS of 1.14 fils.
The bourse had been largely upbeat during last week. It closed higher in 3 of the 5 sessions and climbed 30 points week-on-week. However it has slid 65 points so far during the month and is trading 9 percent lower year-to-date. KSE, with 213 listed companies, is the second largest bourse in the region.
In the bourse related news, Bayan Investment Co has incurred a net loss of KD 3,792,933 and loss per share of 10.61 fils in the three-month period ending March 31, 2011 as compared to a net loss of KD 1,862,004 and loss per share of 5.23 fils in the same period last year.
National Industries Group has registered a first quarter net profit of KD 1,941,000 and earning per share of 2 fils as compared to profit of KD 4,712,000 in same period last year.
Qurain Petrochemical has earned KD 18.16 million in Q1 - a 459 percent spike from same period last year. Earnings per share worked out at 16.58 fils, compared with 2.97 fils in Q1 of 2010.