x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

US 'negative' debt warning drives UAE markets down at the open

Markets Update: UAE markets decline at the open prompted by negative sentiment from the US market sell off overnight.

Abu Dhabi and Dubai shares fell at the open this morning as negative sentiment was prompted by the US market sell-off overnight.

Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank was down 1.5 per cent to Dh3.12 a share. Dana Gas lost 1.4 per cent to 69 fils, while Arkan Building Materials was 1.2 per cent lower to Dh1.22. The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange General Index declined 1.4 per cent to 2707.85 points.

National Bank of Abu Dhabi, the biggest bank in the country, is suspended from trading today. The lender is expected to report its first quarter results after markets close at 2pm.

Last night, the US markets declined after ratings agency Standard & Poor's cut its credit outlook on the country. The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 1.1 per cent to 12201.59 points, while the S&P 500 Index lost 1.1 per cent to 1305.15 points.

Commodities retreated. Oil for May delivery slipped 0.5 per cent to $106.63 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Gold for immediate delivery lost 0.3 per cent to $1490.53 an ounce after reaching an all time high of $1,497.90 yesterday.

In Dubai, Arabtec Holding fell 1.2 per cent to Dh1.53. Dubai Financial Market Company, the only listed exchange in the Arab world, declined 0.7 per cent to Dh1.42.

Elsewhere in the region, Kuwait's measure was unchanged at 6377.10. Bahrain's index was also unchanged at 1403.22. Oman's benchmark declined 0.2 per cent to 6379.22. Qatar's index fell 0.9 per cent to 8645.17. The Saudi Tadawul All-Share Index was unchanged at 6533.34.