Gulf equities closed in the red across the board yesterday, tracking further declines in oil prices amid mounting worries of weakening global demand. The Dubai Financial Market General Index closed down 0.7 per cent at 1,680.52, giving up the slight gains from Thursday after news that major creditors had agreed to a debt restructuring deal with Dubai World. Trade volumes yesterday remained under 100 million shares, indicating weak investor sentiment.
"There is no news and nothing wrong with the market fundamentally," said Mohammed Ali Yasin, the managing director at Shuaa Securities. "More than oil, it is the negative sentiment which is pulling the markets lower." Gulf Finance House was among the major losers, declining more than 9 per cent to 59 fils. Emaar Properties retreated 1.3 per cent to Dh3.69 and accounted for the bulk of trade value. Deyaar Development closed 2.3 per cent lower at 38 fils.
Light, sweet crude for July delivery settled down 76 US cents, or 1.1 per cent, to finish at $70.04 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange on Friday. The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange General Index declined 0.8 per cent to 2,758.35, with property and banking stocks leading the drop. Aldar Properties and Sorouh Real Estate declined 2.5 per cent and 1.3 per cent to Dh3.57 and Dh2.22, respectively.
Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank ended down 2.7 per cent at Dh1.78. Yazan Abdeen, a fund manager at ING Investment, said the market was oversold and there were "select buying opportunities available". Elsewhere in the region, Qatar's main measure ended down 1.5 per cent. Kuwait recovered some of its early losses and closed 0.9 per cent lower. Muscat's index dropped 1 per cent, while Bahrain shares fell 0.5 per cent.