Dubai shares fell for an eighth day, the longest losing streak since 2006, after U.S. job data fueled concern the global economy is weakening and on speculation political instability in Iran may intensify.
Emaar Properties PJSC, developer of the world’s tallest skyscraper, decreased 1.9 percent. Dubai Investments PJSC, whose portfolio includes more than 40 companies, fell to the lowest level in more than two months. The DFM General Index retreated 1.4 percent to 1,560.28, the lowest since Feb. 16, at the 2 p.m. close in Dubai. The gauge has declined 6.6 percent in the past eight days, trimming a rally for the year to 15 percent. Egyptian stocks advanced for a second day.
“Investment sentiment is negative following weak employment and economic numbers from the U.S. over the weekend,” said Nabil Farhat, a partner at Abu Dhabi-based Al Fajer Securities. “There is also worry about the political turmoil with Iran.”
U.S. stocks slumped, sending the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index down 2.4 percent in its biggest weekly retreat this year, after U.S. employers added fewer jobs than forecast, the American service sector slowed and euro-region unemployment rose to a 15-year high. The STOXX Europe 600 declined 2.4 percent in the period.
Iranians voted in a second round of elections on May 4 as the country grappled with a surge in prices following tightening international sanctions in the past six months due to the its nuclear program. The economic strains have opened rifts within the Iranian leadership.
Israel has threatened to use force and the European Union and the U.S. have imposed curbs on oil to deter Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. Iran, the second-biggest producer in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, insists its nuclear program is peaceful and says evidence being used against it has been forged.
Crude for June delivery fell 6.1 percent to $98.49 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange last week, oil’s first retreat below $100 a barrel since February. Gulf Arab oil exporters, including the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, supply about a fifth of the world’s oil.
Emaar fell to 3.05 dirhams, the lowest close since March 29. Dubai Investments slumped 3.5 percent to 74.9 fils, the lowest since Feb. 20.
In North Africa, Egypt’s EGX30 Index rose to the highest since March, gaining 0.9 percent to 4,973.62, after EFG-Hermes Holding SAE and Qatar’s QInvest LLC said they plan to create an investment bank.
Cairo-based EFG-Hermes, the biggest publicly traded Arab investment bank, said May 4 it agreed with QInvest to start the venture that will be 60-percent owned by the Qatari firm. QInvest, a unit of Qatar Islamic Bank, will invest $250 million.
EFG-Hermes shares were suspended by the bourse pending the release of more information. The Egyptian Exchange also canceled all May 3 trades in the stock, without giving a reason. The shares are up 31 percent this year, compared with a 37-percent increase for the benchmark index.
Oman’s MSM 30 Index and Abu Dhabi’s ADX General Index fell 0.3 percent. Saudi Arabia’s benchmark Tadawul All Share Index decreased 1 percent and Kuwait’s gauge retreated 0.1 percent, while Qatar’s QE Index rose 0.2 percent and Bahrain’s gauge climbed 0.3 percent.
In Israel, the TA-25 Index tumbled 1.8 percent in Tel Aviv. The yield on the country’s 5.5 percent notes due January 2022 declined five basis points, or 0.05 percentage point, to 4.57 percent.