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UAE indices extend losses as traders reposition

Markets move ‘sideways-to-soft’ ahead of Ramadan amid fears international markets will not be robust

Dubai: UAE indices fell on Monday, extending losses for another session as traders repositioned themselves ahead of the Ramadan season.

The Dubai Financial Market General Index (DFMGI) closed 0.43 per cent lower at 3,290.37, while the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange General index closed 0.66 per cent lower at 4,345.31.

“UAE markets are moving sideways to soft as traders prepare for the Ramadan season, and on anticipation that international markets are not going to be robust,” said Mohammad Shabbir, head of equity funds & portfolios at Rasmala. He added that “there are no catalyst in the market, so these moves are possible”.

Emaar Properties and Dubai Islamic Bank both ended more than 1 per cent lower, at Dh6.23 and Dh5.59 respectively.

Gulf Finance House also closed more than 1 per cent lower at Dh0.843.

Dubai Investments and Drake and Scull, however, ended higher, bucking the trend. Dubai Investments closed the day almost 0.5 per cent higher at Dh1.96, while Drake and Scull ended 1.3 per cent higher at Dh0.547.

Out of a total of 32 stocks traded on the exchange, the shares of 14 retreated while 13 advanced.

In Abu Dhabi, Eshraq Properties ended more than 1 per cent lower at Dh0.77, while RAK Properties ended more than 3 per cent lower at Dh0.60. Abu Dhabi National Hotels ended 0.36 per cent lower at Dh2.74.

Out of a total of 25 stocks traded on the exchange, the shares of 10 firms fell, while those of eight firms advanced. The rest remained steady.

“Markets [will] remain sideways-to-down till we see more clarity on the government finances and the second-quarter results,” Shabbir said.

Companies in the UAE and the Gulf, which reported a mixed first-quarter results, will start publishing second-quarter results by July.

The Dubai index has so far gained more than 4.5 per cent on a year-to-date basis, while Abu Dhabi’s index is up nearly 1 per cent year-to-date.

Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul All-Share Index (Tasi), however, has shed more than 3 per cent in the year so far.

“Saudi’s Tadawul index is [currently] holding up well, and it has not dropped [today]. I think it would continue to underperform in the second half of the year,” Shabbir said.

On Monday, the Tadawul index closed almost flat at 6,694.80.

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