Ra­madan lull weighs on re­gion

The National - News - Business - - The Markets - Da­nia Saadi dal­saadi@then­ational.ae

Most Ara­bian Gulf stock mar­kets were lit­tle changed yes­ter­day as in­vestor sen­ti­ment re­mains low in the midst of the eco­nomic slow­down hit­ting the re­gion. The Ra­madan lull also weighed on trad­ing, which re­mained thin in most mar­kets. “We need sig­nif­i­cant im­prove­ment in the op­er­at­ing en­vi­ron­ment of the com­pa­nies,” said Mo­hammed Shab­bir, Ras­mala In­vest­ment Bank’s head of eq­uity funds and port­fo­lios in Dubai. “If you see pos­i­tive news on the gov­ern­ment projects, on nonoil eco­nomic growth, re­tails sales, etc this could af­fect the mar­kets pos­i­tively.”

The Dubai Fi­nan­cial Market Gen­eral Index rose 0.7 per cent, while the Abu Dhabi Se­cu­ri­ties Ex­change Gen­eral Index closed down 0.08 per cent. It was the Abu Dhabi ex­change’s eighth de­cline in a row – but with none of the drops greater than 0.45 per cent in a sin­gle day.

In Dubai, the main gain­ers were the de­vel­oper GGICO, which rose by 5.4 per cent, and the Dubai Fi­nan­cial Market, which climbed by 4.8 per cent.

The market in Qatar gained 0.6 per cent, in Bahrain it rose by 0.2 per cent and in Kuwait it inched up by 0.2 per cent. In Oman, the market was down by 0.03 per cent.

In Saudi Ara­bia, the Tadawul index was up by 0.5 per cent.

Brent oil was flat at US$52.15 per bar­rel in af­ter­noon trad­ing. Oil prices have dropped de­spite a global deal be­tween Opec and a group of coun­tries led by Rus­sia to ex­tend a 1.8 mil­lion bar­rel per day oil out­put cut into the first quar­ter of next year.

“You can see that peo­ple are not re­ally ex­cited about the deal,” said Mr Shab­bir. “It is go­ing to have an im­pact on the out­put of Mid­dle Eastern coun­tries.”

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