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Dubai Shares Lead Persian Gulf Declines on Oil; Arabtec Falls

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March 29 (Bloomberg) -- Dubai’s benchmark index fell the most in three weeks, leading declines in Persian Gulf shares, as oil dropped and U.S. government data showed orders placed with factories for durable goods missed economists’ estimates.

Islamic Arab Insurance Co., an insurance provider, slumped the most since March 2009. Arabtec Holding Co., the biggest publicly traded construction company in the United Arab Emirates, declined the most since March 18. The DFM General Index lost 2 percent to 1,648.87 at the 2 p.m. close in the emirate, trimming this year’s rally to 22 percent. Abu Dhabi’s ADX General Index retreated 0.5 percent.

“The external backdrop is not conducive to the continuation of Dubai momentum,” said Julian Bruce, the Dubai-based director of institutional sales trading at EFG-Hermes Holding SAE. “We expect overall enthusiasm to wane going into the weekend.”

Oil traded near the lowest close in almost a week in New York after U.S. inventories surged and Western countries discussed tapping emergency reserves. Oil for May delivery was at $104.81 a barrel, down 0.6 percent, in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 3:28 p.m. in Dubai. The Gulf Cooperation Council, an alliance of Saudi Arabia, the U.A.E., Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait and Oman, holds one-fifth of the world’s proven crude oil reserves.

Stocks Decline

In the U.S., a Commerce Department report yesterday showed that bookings for goods meant to last at least three years advanced 2.2 percent in February, less than projected, after a revised 3.6 percent decline the prior month. The MSCI Emerging Markets Index fell 1 percent, while the Stoxx Europe 600 Index declined 0.9 percent.

Islamic Arabic Insurance tumbled 10 percent to 80.1 fils. Arabtec declined 2.7 percent to 2.94 dirhams.

The Bloomberg GCC 200 Index fell 0.1 percent. Kuwait’s SE Price Index retreated 0.4 percent and Oman’s MSM30 Index declined 0.5 percent. Qatar’s QE Index was little changed and Bahrain’s measure rose 0.2 percent. Saudi Arabia’s stock market was closed for the weekend.

To contact the reporter on this story: Alaa Shahine in Dubai at asalha@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Maedler at cmaedler@bloomberg.net

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