x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Market gains erased in the Emirates

Dubai stocks ended the week skirting above the 1,500 mark, while stocks in the capital fared little better - even as a global sell-off subsided.

Dubai stocks have lost more than half of their gains this year. AP Photo
Dubai stocks have lost more than half of their gains this year. AP Photo

Dubai stocks ended the week skirting above the 1,500 mark, while stocks in the capital fared little better - even as a global sell-off subsided.

The Dubai Financial Market (DFM) General Index closed 0.7 per cent lower at 1,515.02, with the index now having eroded more than half of the gains during the bull run early in the year.

The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange General Index fell 0.1 per cent to 2,478.15, its sixth straight day of losses.

In Dubai, stocks including Arabtec, Deyaar Development and Dubai Financial Market Company fell, although a rise at market bellwethers such as Emaar Properties and Emirates NBD lent support.

The DFM General Index came within four points of closing below the 1,500 mark, viewed by some traders as a psychologically important barrier.

In the capital, developers including Aldar Properties, Sorouh Real Estate and Eshraq Properties led the declines. The UAE's markets had become overly negative as bearish sentiment predominated, said Talal Touqan, the head of research at Al Ramz Securities.

"What we saw was a panic sale," he said. "We see global markets increasing … but we dipped back into the original downward spiral."

Despite the gloom, many local stocks were left undervalued, leaving plenty of scope for bargain-hunters, Mr Touqan added.

But much of the progress made early in the year has now vanished.

Dubai's index gained 400 points between December and early March when markets peaked, with the 29.6 per cent rise breaking into bull market territory, but stocks have fallen 239.25 points since then.

Oil prices rebounded, with Brent crude futures rising US$1.03 to $113.87 per barrel.

Elsewhere in the Gulf, most other markets closed flat while Qatar's QE Index fell 0.6 per cent. The Saudi Tadawul was closed for the weekend.

ghunter@thenational.ae

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