x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Asia woes spook UAE investors

Markets Update: The UAE's markets remain at the mercy of fears over the world economy, with a sell-off on Asian markets hitting stocks in Dubai and Abu Dhabi - with video.

A bad start to the week on Asian markets has left UAE bourses spooked in trading this morning, with worries over the wilting global economic recovery weighing on investors sentiment.

Asian stocks fell in the early hours of the morning as traders assessed the impact of poor economic data from the US released on Friday and fears about the strength of Chinese companies' dollardebts, with the Hang Seng Index losing 2.6 per cent to 19,688.15. Japan's Nikkei 225 index shed 1.8 per cent to 8,784.46.

The UAE's markets opened lower, with the Dubai Financial Market General Index losing 0.4 per cent to 1,477.72 and stocks in Abu Dhabi declining 0.2 per cent to 2,606.44.

Internationally exposed stocks in the banking and property sectors saw the greatest volume, with Emaar Properties losing 1 per cent to Dh2.81 per share, Aldar Properties down 0.8 per cent at Dh1.24 a share, and First Gulf Bank falling 1.25 per cent to Dh15.80 per share.

The slowing pace of US economic growth, coupled with lingering fears over the state of China's public finances, also led to a decline in the price of crude oil and companies bound to the strength of world trade.

Brent crude futures fell 1.3 per cent to $111.65 per contract, while DP World, the Dubai-based ports operator, lost 1.38 per cent to $10.70 a share on the Nasdaq Dubai exchange.