Euro finance chiefs' meeting creates ripples in Gulf markets

A lack of local catalysts caused investors to book profits on the UAE bourses yesterday.

Dubai shares declined in advance of euro finance ministers preparing to address the resurgence of the Greek debt crisis in Brussels yesterday.

Emaar Properties, the region's biggest developer, lost 2.2 per cent to close at Dh3.10. Aramex, the largest courier company in the region, fell its most in a week.

The Dubai Financial Market (DFM) General Index declined 1.4 per cent to 1,562.58 points.

"It seems there's a risk aversion beginning to creep in," said Saleem Khokhar, a fund manager at National Bank of Abu Dhabi. "The catalysts are becoming fewer and fewer."

In the capital, Dana Gas declined 1.4 per cent to 66 fils.

The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange General Index was down 0.5 per cent to 2,641.23.

The movement of the UAE bourses was in line with most international markets, which retreated as Greece was expected to ask for a boost to its €110 billion financial lifeline from the European Central Bank and the IMF.

The MSCI Emerging Markets Index fell 0.2 per cent to 1,144.69, and futures on the Standard & Poor's 500 Index expiring in June declined 0.3 per cent to 1,329.50. Crude oil for delivery next month slid as much as 1.1 per cent to $98.53 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Elsewhere in the region: Kuwait's measure added 0.4 per cent to close at 6,468.50; Bahrain's slipped 0.4 per cent to 1,377.41; Oman's lost 0.2 per cent to close at 6,134.06; and Qatar's rose 0.1 per cent to 8,680.55. The Saudi Tadawul All-Share Index lost 0.8 per cent to close at 6,634.03.