Dubai shares drop to seven-week low as Gaza attacks go on

Markets Update: Investors reduce risk amid increasing Israeli strikes on Gaza, extending declines on UAE bourses.

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UAE bourses extended declines and Dubai's index slipped to a seven-week low today as investors reduced risk amid increasing attacks on the Gaza Strip.

Israeli bombing of dozens of suspected guerrilla sites in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip and Palestinian rocket fire from the enclave dropped off as international efforts to broker a truce intensified.

Dubai's benchmark index earlier today fell by 0.7 per cent to 1,591 points, its lowest level since October 1.

Contractor Arabtec declined 2.1 per cent, telecom operator du shed 1.8 per cent and budget carrier Air Arabia declined 1.7 per cent.

Abu Dhabi's bourse was down by 0.6 per cent to 2,666 points early today, heading for its fourth session of losses since last Monday's 16-month high.

Developers are down, with Aldar Properties and Sorouh Real Estate falling 3.2 and 3.9 per cent respectively. Dana Gas dropped 2.4 per cent.

In Qatar, the measure ticks up 0.1 per cent to 8,387 points, easing away from Sunday's three-month low.

"It's all politics and Middle East conflict - the Gaza attack is scaring everyone," says Yassir Mckee, head of brokerage at Doha's Al Rayan Financial Brokerage.

"Qatar should stay in range - it needs some good news to take it higher. Locals are not as scared as much as the foreigners when there is tension in the region."

Qatar Navigation gained 3.1 per cent and Qatar Electricity and Water climbed 0.2 per cent. Qatar Insurance jumped 9.1 per cent in four trades and thin volumes, which traders say is moving on speculation.

Elsewhere, Oman's index slipped 0.1 per cent to 5,610 points, while Kuwait's bourse was trading flat.