March 5, 2017 / 8:18 AM / 5 months ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf bourses edge down in thin trade, Kuwait outperforms

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DUBAI, March 5 (Reuters) - Most Gulf bourses edged down in light, early trade on Sunday, while Kuwait outperformed on the back of financial stocks.

Saudi Arabia's index inched down 0.1 percent in the first 15 minutes of trade. Banks were weak with heavyweight National Commercial Bank declining 0.5 percent.

Al Sagr Cooperative Insurance dropped 2.6 percent after the board recommended a cash dividend for 2016 of 2 riyals per share, the same payout as for the prior year.

Dubai's index was down 0.5 percent at 3,565 points, nearing minor technical support on its February low of 3,551 points; any break would point to a move down towards stronger support at the late December lows around 3,500 points.

Nine-tenths of traded shares declined with theme park operator DXB Entertainments, the most active stock, losing 1.0 percent.

Abu Dhabi's index edged 0.2 percent lower as National Bank of Abu Dhabi fell 1.9 percent and First Gulf Bank slipped 0.4 percent. The pair are due to merge on April 1.

In Qatar, the index fell 0.3 percent as a little over half of shares traded lower. Doha Bank was down 1.1 percent.

Kuwait's index was up 0.7 percent on the back of a 1.6 percent gain by Kuwait Finance House, as well as a 3.0 percent surge by Burgan Bank in unusually heavy trade. (Reporting by Celine Aswad; Editing by Andrew Torchia. Editing by Jane Merriman)

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