x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Markets drift ahead of Eid

Local investors reluctant to commit ahead of Eid al-Fitr, while Europe slows as energy stocks fall.

With just days to go before the markets close for Eid al-Fitr, investors were reluctant to commit themselves to setting a clear trend in any direction. Markets will be closed from next Tuesday until the end of the week, and in recent days investors have been selling stock heavily, to avoid being caught on the wrong side of a global market moving event during the holiday. With the markets still waiting to see if Congress will pass the US government's proposed US$700bn (Dh 2.6 trillion) investment bank bailout, uncertainty reigned.

The Dubai Financial Market recovered from its losses over the past few days to close higher, up 1.86 per cent, while the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange rose in value by 0.67 per cent. The picture was different in other GCC markets, with Kuwait down 1.68 per cent and Doha falling by 2.11 per cent, while Muscat dropped by 0.58 per cent and Bahrain fell by 0.87 per cent. Despite being fined nearly $1m (Dh3.67m) by the regulator yesterday, Shuaa was one of the surprising risers on the DFM, increasing in value by 5.57 per cent; it had plunged more than ten per cent yesterday.

Arabtec and Tamweel also rose, by 6.72 per cent and 5.57 per cent respectively. In Europe, energy stocks were the top-weighted losers as crude fell below $105 a barrel. Analysts said that evidence of slowing demand in the United States, the world's largest energy consumer, and lingering uncertainty over the bank bailout plan, will probably keep gains in check. BP fell 0.6 per cent and Total lost 1.8 per cent. European shares pared gains by 3pm today, after General Electric revised its 2008 guidance downwards citing unprecedented weakness and volatility in the financial services markets. By early afternoon, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was up 0.47 per cent at 1,1106.74 points, having hit 1,116.92 earlier in the day. The index has suffered loses of nearly 27 per cent overall this year. Across Europe, the FTSE 100 index was down a marginal 0.2 per cent, Germany's DAX was up 0.6 per cent and France's CAC 40 was 0.6 per cent higher. afoxwell@thenational.ae With Reuters