MIDEAST STOCKS-Kuwait dips from 4-yr high as rally stalls; mkts mixed
DUBAI May 22 (Reuters) - Kuwait's rally stalled on Wednesday as investors booked profits in bluechip and mid-cap stocks, while other Middle East markets were mixed in lacklustre trade.
Kuwait's index fell 0.3 percent, easing from Tuesday's near four-year high.
Telecom operator Zain and National Bank of Kuwait shed 1 and 1.4 percent respectively. Small-caps again dominated trade.
Fouad Abdulrahman Alhadlaq, deputy general manager at Al Dar Asset Management, said companies with weak fundamentals have been the biggest gainers in the market's surge, which is a worry because valuations look stretched.
"You have to be more careful if you go after small to mid-sized companies," he said.
In Saudi Arabia, the benchmark rose for a sixth straight session to hit a fresh one-year high.
Banking shares gained as they played catch up to other sectors. Riyad Bank and Banque Saudi Fransi added 1.1 and 1 percent respectively. Banks had underformed of late due to weak earnings.
Retail shares also rose with the sector's benchmark adding 0.5 percent.
"Sectors driven by local demand will be outperformers this year - their year-to-date performance will continue, but with the occasional correction," said Faisal Al-Othman, portfolio manager at Riyadh-based Arab National Bank.
In Qatar, the bourse climbed 0.5 percent to a fresh 28-month high, recouping losses from the previous day.
Barwa Real Estate climbed 1 percent after a court reversed last year's ruling that ordered Barwa's Sudan subsidiary and The Green City Company to pay $31 million in compensation for Dreamland Construction in Sudan.
Alijarah Holding (National Leasing) rose 2 percent and large-caps also advanced.
Elsewhere, Dubai's measure rose for a first day in three in heavy trade as buyers returned. The index climbed 0.2 percent to extend 2013 gains to 43.2 percent.
Builder Arabtec ended flat, halting two sessions of losses after the firm said it had resolved a labour dispute.
Abu Dhabi's index slipped 0.2 percent, down for a third session since Monday's 54-month high.
* The index climbed 0.1 percent to 7,363 points.
* The index gained 0.2 percent to 2,323 points.
* The index fell 0.2 percent to 3,503 points.
* The benchmark rose 0.5 percent to 9,086 points.
* The index slipped 0.3 percent to 8,222 points.
* The index climbed 0.2 percent to 5,416 points.
* The index gained 0.2 percent to 6,378 points.
* The measure rose 0.1 percent to 1,169 points.
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