x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Volatility plagues Gulf markets

Wild swings dominate the bourses, as they struggle to follow the equally tumultuous US market.

Volatility continued to plague the Gulf markets with Dubai falling the most today, after it led the region's bourses up in the previous trading session. The Dubai Financial Market closed 2.54 per cent down, following yesterday's performance which saw it rise 9.87 per cent, its second-highest one day climb. The biggest corporate fallers also included yesterday's risers, such as Emaar and Dubai Islamic Bank.

Yesterday's rise was attributed to a positive reaction to the US government's $700bn (Dh2,5 trillion) bailout for banks, as well as short-sellers covering their positions by buying shares after warnings against the practice by the financial regulator. The US and Britain temporarily suspended short trading this week, but a long-standing ban was already in affect in the UAE. On Saturday the Emirates Securities and Commodities Authority (ESCA) warned portfolio funds to refrain from illegal practice of 'Short-selling'.

The rest of the GCC was a mixed bag with no clear region-wide direction - Dubai's neighbour the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange rose 1.65 per cent, alongside Doha and Muscat which were both up just over two per cent each. The Saudi Tadawul market, the largest of the GCC, posted its second day of declines, down in the afternoon by 1.44 per cent, alongside Kuwait which was down 1.27 per cent. afoxwell@thenational.ae