x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

Markets feeling US malaise

Regional markets sank yesterday after a sell-off on thin volumes in the US.

Regional markets sank yesterday after a sell-off on thin volumes in the US. The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange General Index closed unchanged at 2,498.52, while the Dubai Financial Market General Index dropped 0.4 per cent to 1,483.67. Volumes were low on both exchanges, with US$15.6 million of shares traded in Abu Dhabi and $12.1m in Dubai. The slowdown in Gulf markets followed a 1.5 per cent dip in the S&P 500 Index in the US on the third-lowest daily trading volume this year. Crude oil futures on London's ICE Futures exchange fell by $1.05 to $75.55 a barrel.

One of the most active stocks in Abu Dhabi was Aabar Investments, which said it applied to delist from the exchange, effective from September 8. Aabar shares sank 2.5 per cent to Dh1.52. Egypt's index dropped 1.1 per cent to 6,397.03. Orascom Telecom, the country's largest communications company, also fell despite saying the Algerian government was getting closer to buying the firm's Djezzy unit. Orascom shares were down 1.8 per cent, closing at 5.24 Egyptian pounds.

"No rumours will affect the stock," Amr el Feky of Cairo Capital Securities told Reuters. "Investors are tired of hearing false rumours back and forth." Brokers expect the stock to trade near current levels until official news is announced about the talks with the Algerian government. Bahrain's index fell 0.2 per cent to 1,418.92. Qatar's measure advanced 0.1 per cent to 7,226.15. Kuwait's bourse rose 0.3 per cent to 6,688.60. The Saudi Tadawul All-Share Index declined 0.3 per cent to 6,052.62.