0545 GMT - Kuwait's stock market is again set to test major technical support on Monday, and the result of the test may indicate market direction for coming months.
An early-year rally, driven by local retail investors, lost steam because of a lack of progress on infrastructure and economic development projects in the country. Also, participation has been thin by the government's National Portfolio Fund, which was set up to support the market during slumps.
On Monday the index fell 0.8 percent to a 10-week low of 7,641 points, starting a test of chart support on the 200-day average, now at 7,642 points. The average has acted as important support for the index throughout this year; the market bounced sharply from it in September.
On Sunday, National Bank of Kuwait said the country was set to secure $1.43 billion in financing from a consortium of banks for the Az-Zour North Power and Desalination plant, one of the major projects in the government's development plan. But there was little initial reaction in the market to this positive news.
In Oman, Dhofar International Development & Investment Holding could attract interest after it said it had received board approval for the purchase of a 35 percent stake in Oman Investment & Finance, subject to regulatory approval. No value was given.
Asian share markets are mostly lower with investors a few days away from finding out the fate of U.S. monetary stimulus in December. MSCI's emerging market index is down 0.2 percent, but Brent oil futures have risen above $109.0 a barrel on supply concerns in Libya. (Reporting by Nadia Saleem; Editing by Andrew Torchia)
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