Market Wrap: Markets sleepwalk through a day that had been expected to see big losses after disappointing US jobs data - with video.
Dubai bourses escape US jobs malaise
Dubai's markets were almost alone in the Gulf in finding shelter from poor economic news blown from the US, while other Gulf markets including Qatar, Kuwait and Oman fell sharply.
Local markets were scattered in all directions as gains for Emaar Properties, Sorouh and Emirates NBD were balanced by losses at Air Arabia, Dana Gas and Deyaar Developments. For every stock making gains, another fell.
Both markets were almost flat at the end of the day's trading, after rises which nudged the Emirates' indexes into positive territory before being snuffed out. The Dubai Financial Market General Index ended flat at 1,566.71, while Abu Dhabi stocks fell 0.24 per cent to 2,666.16, breaking a week-long string of gains.
Traders started the day in a downbeat mood as US jobs data revealed on Friday that the world's largest economy added just 54,000 jobs last month, raising fears that growth has stalled. Economists polled by Bloomberg had expected an increase of 165,000.
The dismal jobs growth caused a sharp sell-off in Saudi Arabian stocks at the weekend, falling 1.73 per cent to 6,624.95 at the close on Saturday, before falling again today.
"The story is that there's no story," said Fadi al Said, a fund manager at ING Investment Management. "After the Saudi market tanked yesterday, the expectations were leading towards a bad day today."
Positive economic news, alongside perennial hopes of an upgrade to emerging market status from MSCI, the index provider, were still providing traders with reasonable cause for optimism, he added.
Meanwhile, Nasdaq Dubai saw a glimpse of movement, falling 0.57 per cent to 1,714.74, dragged downwards by its largest stock, DP World, which declined 0.76 per cent to $13.10. The ports operator's Dubai-listed shares have lost 47 cents since its listing on the London Stock Exchange on June 1.