x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

Gulf markets stay subdued on weak global sentiment

Weak global markets dampened investor enthusiasm as markets were mostly flat on low volumes.

Weak global markets dampened investor enthusiasm in the Gulf yesterday, as markets were mostly flat on low volumes. UAE bourses were affected by lower-than-expected US jobs data and disappointing manufacturing numbers from China, both of which were released on Friday. The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX) General Index moved up 0.2 per cent to 2,515.46, while the Dubai Financial Market (DFM) General Index fell 0.1 per cent to 1,468.45. Trade on the ADX was valued at Dh40 million, while the DFM's activity was valued at Dh63m. Both numbers were well below recent averages, indicating that investors were awaiting a catalyst before returning to the market.

"The volumes tell the whole story," said Saad Chalabi, an institutional trader at AlRamz Securities in Abu Dhabi. Abu Dhabi's measure was supported by Aabar Investments as speculators bought the stock, sending it up by 3.4 per cent to Dh1.49. Etisalat and du traded heavily on news that they planned to share each other's internet and television networks. On the ADX, Etisalat remained unchanged at Dh10.30. The Dubai-based du dropped 3 per cent to Dh1.92.

Abu Dhabi's second-largest listed developer, Sorouh Real Estate, rose more than half a per cent to Dh1.76. Drake and Scull International, a contractor based in Dubai, moved up 0.1 per cent to 78 fils. The company announced that it received a 450m Saudi riyal contract from Damac to construct a project, Al Jawharah, in the kingdom. Kuwait's measure dipped 1.7 per cent to 6,320.60 and Qatar's fell 1.1 per cent to 6,766.80. Oman's remained largely unchanged at 6,077.51. Bahrain's index dropped 1.3 per cent to 1,361.19, and the Saudi Tadawul All-Share Index was down 0.51 per cent to 6,002.61.