x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Stocks continue slide on UAE markets

Markets Update: UAE markets decline as lacklustre economic data from the United States weighs on the price of oil.

Stocks on Dubai's market fell for an eighth consecutive day earlier today, as disappointing economic data from the United States weighed on the emirate's index.

The Dubai Financial Market General Index lost 1.3 per cent, closing at 1560.28, the lowest level since mid-February. The index has now pared around one-third of the gains made during the bull run which took place at the start of the year.

The UAE's markets came under pressure from US economic data, which pointed to a cooling-off in the world's largest economy, said Yong-Wei Lee, a senior fund manager at Emirates NBD.

"It's more of what we saw yesterday," he said. "The weakness we had in US markets on Friday is coming through… The employment numbers were quite a bit weaker than expected and markets took quite a hit."

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Friday that US employment had increased by 115,000 during April, around 45,000 less than expected.

That caused Brent crude futures to decline $2.83 to $113.16 per barrel, while Nymex crude fell $4.05 to $98.49 per barrel.

Dubai's market was now catching up to a sell-off seen in Saudi Arabia on Saturday, Mr Lee added.

Meanwhile, the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange General Index slid 0.2 per cent, to 2495.31, supported by large-cap stocks such as First Gulf Bank and National Bank of Abu Dhabi.

In Dubai, Arabtec reversed a decline seen earlier in the day after it was announced that the contractor was among the consortium of companies that is the preferred bidder for the expansion of Abu Dhabi International Airport.

The shares closed up 1.7 per cent, at Dh3.50 each.

Shares in Dubai Financial Market Company, the Gulf's only publicly listed stock exchange, fell 2.7 per cent to Dh1.07 each as trading volumes on the emirate's market tumbled.

Elsewhere in the region, most other Gulf markets fell. The only exceptions were Bahrain and Qatar, which made tentative gains. The Saudi Tadawul All-Share Index closed 0.9 per cent lower at 7,377.61.

ghunter@thenational.ae

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