February 6, 2017 / 5:42 AM / a year ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Most of Gulf may move little but Kuwait vulnerable

DUBAI, Feb 6 (Reuters) - Stock markets in the Gulf may move little on Monday as global shares and crude oil prices offer no encouragement for fresh allocations, while Kuwait’s market may underperform peers after a five-week bull run began to reverse in recent days.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan has inched up 0.5 percent on Monday morning and Brent oil futures are up 0.3 percent to $56.81 a barrel.

Kuwait’s stock market had declined for four out of the last five trading sessions and was hit hard on Sunday, dropping 2.3 percent amid rising political tensions. A survey by Reuters at the end of last month found regional fund managers were equally split on whether they would increase or reduce allocations to Kuwaiti equities over the next three months.

But Dubai’s index may remain buoyant with investment focused on small and mid-sized speculative shares. Many fund managers believe valuations in Dubai and Abu Dhabi look attractive, and macroeconomic data is supportive; a corporate survey published on Sunday showed business activity growth in the United Arab Emirates non-oil private sector rose to a six-month high in January.

Reporting by Celine Aswad; Editing by Andrew Torchia

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