x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Oil prices tumble as hopes grow for Libyan civil war end

Markets Update: Oil prices fall as Muammar Qaddafi makes his last stand, and markets anticipate the potential release of lost Libyan output - with video.

The Zawiya oil refinery, some 40 kms west of Tripoli. Oil prices fall as Muammar Qaddafi makes his last stand, and markets anticipate the potential release of lost Libyan output. AFP PHOTO / FILIPPO MONTEFORTE
The Zawiya oil refinery, some 40 kms west of Tripoli. Oil prices fall as Muammar Qaddafi makes his last stand, and markets anticipate the potential release of lost Libyan output. AFP PHOTO / FILIPPO MONTEFORTE

Oil prices tumbled in world trading as an end to Libya's civil war appeared within sight.

But markets saw little sign of a peace dividend as the Qaddafi regime made its last stand against the Libyan rebels, with the UAE's bourses seeing lacklustre gains alongside a further sell-off on Asian markets.

Brent crude futures fell $3.73 to $105.80 per contract as rebel forces rolled into central Tripoli. The disappearance of sweet Libyan crude from world markets has caused the price of oil to spiral upwards since the beginning of the country's civil war in February.

Brent crude futures rose 25.24 per cent to $126.74 in April, but have fallen 16.33 per cent since then.

The UAE's markets made slight gains as stocks on the Dubai Financial Market rose 0.13 per cent to 1,454.40, while Abu Dhabi's gauge was flat at 2,557.03.

Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, the capital's second-biggest bank, lost 1.74 per cent to Dh2.83 per share, weighing down on the index as most other stocks were left unchanged. Yesterday, the bank was cut to "hold" by Rasmala Investment Bank, with a target price of Dh3.18 a share.

But rises in large cap stocks buoyed Abu Dhabi's index, including Etisalat, which rose 0.49 per cent to Dh10.20 a share, and Aldar, which increased 0.85 per cent to Dh1.18 a share.

Dubai Islamic Bank, Emaar and Tabreed were among a handful of stocks rising on Dubai's market.

However, jitters around the strength of the global economic recovery persisted, with gold reaching a new record high of $1,880.80.

Asian stocks fell in the early hours of the morning, with the Nikkei 225 shedding 1.04 per cent to 8,628.13, and the Hang Seng index losing 1.52 per cent to 19,105.52.