Dubai Stocks Lead Mideast Declines as Oil Slump Clouds Outlook

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Dubai stocks retreated, leading equity markets lower across the Gulf, after oil dropped to the lowest in four-months and some investors sought to benefit from the DFM General Index’s rally last week.

The benchmark gauge dropped 1.3 percent, the most in almost three weeks, to 4,147.63 at the close. Emirates NBD PJSC, the United Arab Emirates’ second-biggest lender by assets, slid the most in five weeks. Emaar Properties PJSC, the developer of the world’s tallest tower, lost the most since July 8. Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul All Share Index fell 0.8 percent in Riyadh, the most in a month.

The drop is “a combination of profit taking after a good start to the earnings season and investors pricing in the impact of Iran’s nuclear deal on oil prices in the short term,” Sanyalak Manibhandu, the head of research at NBAD Securities LLC in Abu Dhabi, said by phone. “If oil were to go another $5 lower, we could see another mini-scare in equities.”

Brent crude fell to a four-month low on Friday on signs the global surplus will grow following Iran’s agreement to curtail its nuclear program in exchange for lifting of economic sanctions. Dubai stocks rallied the most since April last week after companies reported better than estimated quarterly results. Profit for Emirates NBD climbed 26 percent and for Emaar Malls Group PJSC leapt 43 percent.

Sabic Gains

Emirates NBD lost 2.3 percent on almost four times its average three-month daily trading volume. The drop followed the stock’s best weekly gain of the year on the back of a 41 percent increase in first-half profit. Emaar, the parent of Emaar Malls, retreated 1 percent.

Saudi Basis Industries Corp., the world’s second-biggest petrochemicals producer, advanced 0.7 percent on more than twice its three-month average daily volume. The company known as Sabic beat second-quarter profit expectations and said it’s studying investment in U.S. shale gas projects.

Abu Dhabi’s ADX General Index retreated 0.4 percent. Qatar’s QE Index slipped 0.3 percent, and Kuwait’s SE Price Index and Oman’s MSM 30 Index both slid 0.1 percent. Bahrain’s BB All Share Index was little changed.

Egypt Drops

Egypt’s EGX 30 Index retreated 1 percent, led by Commercial International Bank Egypt SAE, the country’s biggest listed lender. The central bank is expected to maintain the benchmark deposit rate at 8.75 percent when it meets Thursday, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Cairo-based Pharos Holding is projecting a 50 basis-point cut.

The Egyptian pound was unchanged at 7.8301 per dollar in the interbank market after the central bank maintained its value at a regular currency sale today.

Israel’s market was closed for a public holiday.

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