Arabtec declines on DFM

Arabtec Holding was down slightly as the most active stock on the Dubai Financial Market (DFM) on the same day that the company's chief executive was banned from trading in UAE shares.

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Arabtec Holding was down slightly as the most active stock on the Dubai Financial Market (DFM) on the same day that the company's chief executive was banned from trading in UAE shares.

Arabtec fell 0.49 per cent, although most of the trading took place before news circulated that Riad Kamal, the company's chief executive, was banned from trading.

Emaar Properties dropped 1.1 per cent, leading the DFM 0.2 per cent lower to 1,659.

The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange General Index fell 0.2 per cent.

In Saudi Arabia, Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) closed at its highest value in more than two years. It gained 1.4 per cent, buoyed by global oil prices that hovered above US$91 a barrel. SABIC closed at 108.50 riyals, its highest since September 2008.

"Oil prices have been helping the Saudi market and this will continue to keep the index on the positive side," said Hesham Tuffaha, the head of research for Bakheet Investment Group.

But trading volumes have remained low as investors stay on the sidelines awaiting corporate earnings reports.

The Saudi Tadawul All-Share Index closed 0.4 per cent higher, extending a slow rally into a sixth session.

Oil hovered near its highest price levels in more than two years on accelerating manufacturing activity in developed economies and expectations that US crude inventories will continue to decline.

Elsewhere in the region, Kuwait rose 0.3 per cent to 6,974.10; Oman advanced 0.6 per cent to 6,867.73; and Bahrain declined 0.2 per cent to 1,423.26. Qatar continued its strong performance from last year, rising 1.1 per cent to 8,972.94.

* with Reuters