x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 17 January 2018

Dubai shares fall to month low

Dubai shares slipped to their lowest level this month, feeling the effects of banking and property stocks.

Emaar Properties fell 1.3 per cent to Dh3.08 a share.
Emaar Properties fell 1.3 per cent to Dh3.08 a share.

Dubai shares fell to their lowest level this month as banking and property stocks pulled local bourses down.

Emaar Properties, the developer of the world's tallest tower, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, fell 1.3 per cent to Dh3.08. Union Properties, the company that built Dubai's Motor City, lost 0.47 per cent to close at 42 fils.

The Dubai Financial Market General Index slid 0.3 per cent to 1,551.67, the lowest since May 30.

European sovereign debt concerns, slowing export growth in China and recent comments from Ben Bernanke, the Federal Reserve chairman, also dampened market sentiment.

Mr Bernanke said last week the "frustratingly slow" economic recovery had merited continued monetary stimulus.

"Markets need very little excuse for a sell-off at the moment," said Julian Bruce, the head of institutional sales at EFG-Hermes in Dubai. "If there are further negative occurrences in Europe, it causes a knock-on effect elsewhere." Dubai Financial Market, the bourse operator and the only stock market in the Arab world that is publicly listed, was unchanged at Dh1.19 even as HSBC raised its rating on the stock to "neutral" from "underweight".

In the capital, Etisalat, the telecommunications giant and the country's largest company by market capitalisation, gained 0.47 per cent to Dh10.75 on thin volumes.

The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange General Index lost 0.1 per cent while Saudi Arabia's Tadawul All-Share Index advanced 0.2 per cent.

The Kuwait's bourse was little changed and Bahrain's measure advanced 0.1 per cent. Oman's stock exchange gained 0.3 per cent while Qatar's increased 0.1 per cent.

Oil prices fell on Friday after Saudi Arabia said it would pump up to 1 million additional barrels into the market. Brent closed 0.6 per cent down at US$118.78 a barrel on Friday.