Abu Dhabi’s benchmark index dropped to the lowest in two months, declining for a sixth week, as Investbank retreated and Europe’s stocks fell from a two-month high.
Investbank, an Abu Dhabi-based lender, plunged the most in two months. Agthia Group PJSC, which operates in companies in the food and beverage business, tumbled to the lowest level in almost two years. The benchmark ADX General Index declined 0.4 percent to 2,477.80, the lowest since Aug. 12, at the 2 p.m. close in the emirate. The measure extended its loss for the week to 0.7 percent. About 28 million shares traded in Abu Dhabi today, compared with this year’s daily average of 67 million, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The Bloomberg GCC 200 Index was unchanged at 54.17.
“What’s been controlling the market is a lack of interest toward blue-chip companies, leaving the market to retail investors trying to close positions before the weekend,” said Marwan Shurrab, assistant fund manager and chief trader at Dubai-based Gulfmena Alternative Investments. The decline in European stocks prices also helped trigger the selling, he said.
European stocks fell as China’s export growth slowed and Carrefour SA cut its full-year profit forecast for the second time in three months. The benchmark Stoxx Europe 600 Index lost 1.1 percent at 4:25 p.m. in Dubai. Oil dropped for a second day in New York as signs of weakening U.S. fuel demand and slowing crude imports in China stoked speculation that consumption will falter in the world’s largest energy users.
Industries Qatar Gains
Crude retreated as much as 1.9 percent to $83.94 a barrel in New York. Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, holds about 7 percent of the world’s proven oil reserves.
Investbank dropped 5.9 percent, the most since Aug. 9, to 1.6 dirhams. Agthia Group fell 2.4 percent to 1.66 dirhams, the lowest since December 2009.
Qatar’s QE Index declined 0.3 percent, reversing an earlier gain of as much as 0.2 percent. Industries Qatar QSC, the Middle East’s second-biggest petrochemicals company, climbed 0.9 percent to 126.1 riyals, the highest since Sept. 21, after profit surged 46 percent in the third-quarter profit.
Oman’s MSM30 Index declined less than 0.1 percent. Dubai’s DFM General Index advanced less than 0.1 percent, Kuwait’s measure rose 0.3 percent and Bahrain’s index added 0.2 percent. Saudi Arabia’s bourse is closed for the weekend.