Dubai’s benchmark index, the world’s best performing gauge this year, retreated the most in two weeks as investors sought to take advantage of a four-day rally to pocket gains. Qatari shares declined.
The DFM General Index fell 0.6 percent, the steepest drop since Dec. 16, to 3,287.57 at the close in Dubai, trimming its gain this year to 103 percent. The gauge is beating 93 tracked globally by Bloomberg. The measure’s 14-day relative strength index stayed above 70, the level that typically indicates a drop. Shuaa Capital PSC (SHUAA), the investment bank controlled by Dubai’s ruler, lost the most in more than two weeks and Emirates NBD (EMIRATES) PJSC fell. Qatar’s QE Index (DSM) declined 0.3 percent.
Shares in Dubai benefited this year from an economic recovery in the emirate, led by a resurgence in property prices, trade and tourism. Growth is set to average 4.6 percent a year between 2012 and 2015, more than twice the rate of the previous four years, according to government forecasts.
“It’s year-end and everyone is locking in profits,” said Mariam Fadel, a regional equity trader at EFG Hermes Brokerage in Dubai. Trading was dominated by local investors, she said.
The 14-day relative-strength index of Dubai’s index fell to 76 from 81 on Dec. 26.
Shuaa slid 2.3 percent, the most since Dec. 11, to 98.7 fils, while Emirates NBD, the second-largest lender in the United Arab Emirates, retreated 0.8 percent to 6.15 dirhams. The shares have soared 80 percent and 116 percent this year, respectively.
Dana Gas rose 2.3 percent to 90 fils, taking its five-day jump to 29 percent. Dana received $53 million in delayed payments from the Egyptian government, the company said in a statement on Dec. 24. Abu Dhabi’s ADX General Index gained 0.6 percent. Egypt’s EGX 30 retreated 0.6 percent.
Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul All Share Index (SASEIDX) gained 0.2 percent. Samba Financial Group lost 3.9 percent, the most in four months. Kuwait’s gauge declined 0.5 percent, while Muscat’s index rose 0.3 percent and Bahrain’s increased 0.4 percent.
Bahrain’s economy may expand almost 5 percent this year, driven by the oil and gas industries, state-run news agency BNA reported.
In Israel, the TA-25 Index retreated 1.3 percent, the most since 0ct. 23, as Bank Leumi Le-Israel and Bank Hapoalim Ltd. fell. The yield on the government’s debt maturing in March 2023 rose three basis points, or 0.03 of a percentage point, to 3.64 percent.
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