x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 16 January 2018

Local stocks dwindle in early trading

Stocks in Dubai and Abu Dhabi extend their losses after tensions on the Korean peninsula prompt a sell-off on Asian markets and a slump in the price of crude.

Local stocks dwindled in early trading, with political tensions in North Korea weighing on Asian stocks and extending a slump in the price of oil.

The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange General Index slid 0.5 per cent to 2,399.97, the sixth straight day of losses on the capital's market measure.

The Dubai Financial Market General Index was flat at 1,372.88.

Stocks in Emirates NBD fell 1.2 per cent to Dh3.13 each, a day after HC Securities slashed its target price on the UAE's biggest bank by 20 per cent.

Abu Dhabi National Energy Company, also known as Taqa, slid 0.8 per cent to Dh1.20 a share, after the company announced plans to sell some of its Canadian assets and announced the first customers for its Bergermeer Gas Storage facility in the Netherlands.

Meanwhile, telecommunications company Etisalat continued its recent slump for the fifth straight day, falling 0.2 per cent to Dh9.37.

Asian stocks began the day in freefall as investors feared a bumpy transition of power in North Korea after the death of Kim Jong-Il.

South Korea's KOSPI Index fell 3.4 per cent to 1,776.93. The Hang Seng Index fell 1.6 per cent to 17,983.40, while Japan's Nikkei 225 index lost 1.2 per cent to 8,296.12.

Crude oil slumped, with Brent futures falling $1.08 to $102.87 per barrel, dipping towards the $100 per barrel mark which it broke through in February this year.

The dollar strengthened slightly to $1.3015 against the euro, an appreciation of 0.1 per cent for the greenback.