Dubai Stocks Lead Gulf Equity Drop as Trading Volumes Plummet

Dubai stocks led a retreat across Gulf Arab equities as trading volumes plunged.

Every benchmark gauge in the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council declined, with Bloomberg’s GCC 200 Index poised for its longest losing streak in two months. Dubai’s DFM General Index lost 0.7 percent at 1:16 p.m. local time, as about 104 million shares were traded, 58 percent below the intraday average for the past six months. Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul All Share Index dropped 0.5 percent, as trading volumes languished 37 percent below the average.

“After last week’s excitement fueled by foreign inflows, with a few exceptions, things are dull today,” said Akber Khan, who manages $850 million as senior director of asset management at Al Rayan Investment in Doha. “It’s a Sunday in the midst of summer with few results in the region. Volumes are unsurprisingly poor.”

Stock gauges in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Qatar and Kuwait posted a third week of gains in the five days through Thursday as prospects for stimulus in major economies boosted demand for riskier emerging-market assets. Investors have since moderated their expectations after the Bank of Japan ruled out directly financing government debt and the European Central Bank held back monetary expansion.

Oil’s Decline

The declines in the GCC on Sunday also follow a drop in the price of oil, with Brent crude falling 4 percent in the week to $45.69 per barrel. The GCC is home to about a third of the world’s proven oil reserves and equities are closely correlated to crude prices.

Qatar’s QE Index retreated 0.4 percent, declining for a third day, the worst streak in more than a month on a closing basis. Kuwait’s SE Price Index slipped 0.1 percent, and Abu Dhabi’s ADX General Index fell 0.3 percent. Bahrain’s BB All Share Index lost 0.1 percent.

Source: Bloomberg

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