Dubai’s benchmark stock index tumbled the most in more than a year, led by Emaar Properties PJSC, as concern the U.S. may reduce fiscal stimulus prompted a selloff in emerging markets.
Emaar, the builder of the world’s tallest skyscraper, declined to the lowest in two months and Dubai Financial Market, the Persian Gulf’s only publicly traded stock market, slumped 5.8 percent. The DFM General Index retreated 2.6 percent, the most since March 2012, to 2,299.78 at the close in Dubai. Abu Dhabi’s ADX General Index lost 1.9 percent, the most since Dec. 11. Egypt’s EGX 30 fell 2.2 percent to the lowest in a year.
Emerging market stocks last week tumbled 5.6 percent, the most in 13 months, as Federal Reserve Chairmen Ben S. Bernanke said June 19 that the U.S. may halt bond purchases by mid-2014. China’s manufacturing is shrinking at a faster pace this month, adding to stresses in the economy and financial system after interbank borrowing costs surged.
“Market sentiment is being negatively affected by what’s happening worldwide, especially in emerging-market countries,” Talal Touqan, head of research at Al Ramz Securities LLC, said by phone. “Chinese manufacturing data and news from the U.S. Federal Reserve means sentiment and institutional presence will both be weak in the coming few weeks at least.”
Dubai’s stocks are the second-best performing in 2013 among 94 benchmarks tracked by Bloomberg globally as investors bet on an economic and real estate recovery in the emirate, one of seven sheikhdoms that make up the United Arab Emirates. Emaar, which has the heaviest weighting on Dubai’s index, has surged 44 percent this year and the benchmark 42 percent.
Emaar lost 2.7 percent to 5.39 dirhams, the lowest since April 23. DFM retreated to 1.79 dirhams.
Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul All Share Index gained 0.5 percent. The kingdom will change its weekend for government ministries and monetary agencies to Friday and Saturday from June 29, the official Saudi Press Agency reported. The weekend is currently Thursday and Friday.
The Bloomberg GCC 200 Index of the biggest companies in six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council decreased 0.1 percent. Oman’s MSM30 Index advanced 0.3 percent, while Kuwait’s index and Bahrain’s rose 0.1 percent. Qatar’s QE Index retreated 0.2 percent.
Israel’s TA-25 Index declined less than 0.1 percent. The yield on the government’s benchmark 4.25 percent bonds maturing March 2023 rose two basis points, or 0.02 percentage point, to 3.88 percent.