x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

Gulf stocks slip amid global growth concerns

Market latest: Gulf markets edge downwards after pessimistic Asian growth assumptions from the World Bank and a fall in the price of oil.

Gulf stocks slid in early trading as oil prices were hit by global growth concerns.

Earlier this morning, the World Bank cuts its estimates for East Asian economic output this year, saying China's economy would likely grow at 7.7 per cent this year compared to an earlier estimate of 8.2 per cent. The Chinese economy grew at a rate of 9.3 per cent last year, the bank said.

The move echoes fears raised by the Asian Development Bank last week.

Oil prices declined for the second straight day, with Brent crude futures down 85 cents to $112.26 per barrel.

Around the Gulf, markets fell in unison.

The Dubai Financial Market General Index slid 0.4 per cent to 1,637.15, while the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange General Index was off 0.1 per cent at 2,645.54.

Dubai Financial Market Company's shares were the most traded, with 18.9m stocks changing hands. The bourse operator's shares were unchanged at Dh1.08, having leapt on Sunday following the approval of new market laws intended to boost liquidity.

Qatar and Kuwait's markets fell, while Oman's was flat.

European equity futures fell, pointing to a lower open.

Asian markets fell in early trading, with the Hang Seng Index down 0.5 per cent at 20,890.45 after a week-long holiday. Japanese stock markets are closed for a holiday.