Dubai hits three-month low as Greek woes persist

Market Wrap: Dubai's market fell to its lowest level since the end of March as uncertainty about the Greek debt crisis dictated market movement.

How the DFM closed on June 28, 2011.
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Dubai's market dipped to its lowest point in more than three months as investors tracked uncertainty on a global economic recovery.

Global markets have remained on edge as the Greek parliament votes later this week on additional austerity measures aimed at tackling the country's debt crisis.

The Dubai Financial Market General Index fell 1.2 per cent to 1,507.61 points, its lowest point since March 21, as fund managers and traders sold off their positions in bellwether stocks. The country's markets will be closed this Thursday for an Islamic holiday.

Even gains in defensive stocks that perform well at times of economic volatility were subject to a sell-off. Air Arabia, the low-cost carrier based in Sharjah fell 0.9 per cent to 66 fils, capping earlier gains.

Emaar Properties, the developer of the world's tallest tower, the Burj Khalifa, was also subject to volatile trading this morning after it sold 409 units in a property project in Syria.

Shares in the company lost 2.3 per cent to Dh2.96.

"There's been a bit of a pullback in terms of volumes on Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Traded value is at about $30 million per day and has been the case for the last 6 trading days," said David Verghese, a fund manager at Emirates NBD in Dubai.

Trading value rose to as much as $50 million a day at the beginning of the year when political upheaval in the Middle East, prompted increased volatility to on the regional markets.

But analysts said regional markets are still at the mercy of forces dictating the movement of international equities.

"We're not going to get much on the company level. Greece continues to dominate," said Mr Verghese.

But in the capital, sentiment was more positive.

The wider benchmark, the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange General Index, edged 0.3 per cent higher to 2711.30 points, the most since June 19.

Taqa, the energy giant was an early top gainer as the company announced its top executive would step down to concentrate on his role at Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority.

The state-owned company, also known as Abu Dhabi National Energy Company, said chief executive Abdulla Saif Al Nuaimi will leave the company this Friday.

Shares in the company had risen as much as 0.8 per cent, reversing losses a day earlier. It closed flat at Dh1.21.

The company said that Carl Sheldon, its general manager, will lead the company and oversee its global operations, according to Reuters.