x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

Oil falls below $124 amid mixed markets

Markets Update: Brent crude fell back below $124 a barrel this morning after France says Europe may release oil stockpiles and on weak industrial data from China.

Brent crude fell back below $124 a barrel after France said Western nations are considering releasing oil stockpiles, and on weak industrial data from China.

The price per barrel dropped to $123.64 this morning, the lowest level in a week, after a French official said Europe may dip into its oil reserves to release pressure on the commodity during the boycott of Iranian crude exports by some countries.

In the UAE, the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange General Index was down 0.7 per cent to 2,575.20. The Dubai Financial Market General Index rose 0.4 per cent in early trading to 1,662.11.

Investors welcomed Waha Capital's decision to pay out a 5 per cent dividend, despite a sharp decline in profits at the company, by sending its stock higher this morning.

Waha, which offers lease financing services, reported that profit after deductions fell 38 per cent last year to Dh155m compared to Dh249m a year earlier, according to a release on the Abu Dhabi stock exchange this morning.

The company blamed the decline on slow global economic growth last year. Its share price was up 8.96 per cent to Dh0.73

Bahrain this morning announced it has appointed Mahmood Hashem Al Kooheji as chief executive officer of Mumtalakat Holding Company, the sovereign wealth fund that holds stakes in the biggest companies in the Arabian Gulf nation.

Global markets closed down or flat yesterday. In the United States the main Dow Jones index closed in the red after poor housing figures. In the UK, the FTSE Index of 100 leading stocks ended the day flat. Across Asia markets were down.

lmiller@thenational.ae

twitter: Follow our breaking business news and retweet to your followers. Follow us