U.A.E. Stocks Retreat as Trading Slumps After Two-Day Holiday

  • 61 million shares trade in Dubai vs. 443 million daily average
  • Most members of Abu Dhabi stock gauge remain unchanged

United Arab Emirates stocks fell amid a drop in trading following a two-day holiday.

With most Middle East stock exchanges still shut, the DFM General Index retreated 0.6 percent to 3,612.70 at the close. Emaar Properties PJSC, the developer of the world’s tallest tower, led the declines with a 0.8 percent decrease. About 61 million shares changed hands in the emirate, the lowest since December 2012, compared with an average of more than 440 million. Abu Dhabi’s ADX General Index fell 0.4 percent as 48 out of 64 shares on the gauge didn’t move.

With so many markets still closed, “I’m not expecting a strong move," said Sebastien Henin, the head of asset management at The National Investor in Abu Dhabi. Oil prices were able to maintain their levels, so it’s “business as usual" in the region, he said.

Bloomberg’s GCC 200 Index, comprising 200 of the biggest stocks in the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council, has dropped 24 percent in the past 12 months as the price of oil, the region’s main source of revenue, collapsed by half. While Brent crude advanced for the first week in four to $48.60 per barrel on Friday, many global stocks declined as investors tried to gauge the health of the global economy.

Bloomberg 200 Index vs Brent Crude Price
Bloomberg 200 Index vs Brent Crude Price

Stock exchanges in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Egypt and Israel are closed for religious holidays. Oman’s MSM 30 Index rose 0.2 percent for a third day of gains.

Quarterly Drop

Dubai’s gauge is poised to decline 1.4 percent this month, extending its loss in the quarter to 12 percent, the worst since the three months ended December 2014. Stocks globally are headed for the worst quarter in four years after a selloff triggered by China’s shock yuan devaluation in August, and as investors weigh the chances of an increase in U.S. interest rates this year.

Abu Dhabi’s gauge is little changed this month and has declined 4.8 percent in the quarter. National Bank of Abu Dhabi PJSC dropped 2.6 percent, the biggest contributer to the index’s decrease on Sunday, followed by Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank PJSC’s 0.9 percent retreat.

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