Europe calls the tunes for local markets

Dubai shares yesterday rose at the open but closed little changed as investors tracked sentiment from Europe.

The Dubai Index climbed 0.7 per cent. Stephen Lock / The National
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Dubai shares see-sawed yesterday amid continued European sovereign debt concerns.

The Dubai Financial Market General Index climbed 0.7 per cent, the highest in more than a month at the open. At the close, the index was flat, closing just 0.03 per cent higher at 1,460.69 points.

Italy asked China to buy Italian debt as the euro zone's third-largest economy struggles to convince markets it can manage its debt load, according to media reports. European stocks fell yesterday, led by French banks amid mounting concern that the sovereign debt crisis is hurting interbank lending.

"It's all about Europe at the moment," said Julian Bruce, the equity sales head at EFG-Hermes in Dubai. "Regional markets have no real independent drivers.

The reports about China managed to bring the markets into positive territory but as European markets started trading downwards, our markets started trading down in sympathy."

On the Nasdaq Dubai, DP World gained 1.5 per cent to US$9.65 a share after EFG-Hermes upgraded the ports operator to "buy" from "neutral".

The Dubai exchange said it had agreed to transfer the official list of securities to the Dubai Financial Services Authority, which would streamline the regulatory process for approving prospectuses and listing.

The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange General Index closed 0.01 per cent lower at 2,583.70.

Elsewhere in the region: Kuwait's benchmark added 0.5 per cent to 6008.30; Bahrain's measure was little changed at 1,266.39; Oman's measure rose 0.3 per cent to 5,693.09; and Qatar's benchmark added 0.4 per cent to 8,334.27. The Saudi Tadawul All-Share Index was up 0.52 per cent to 6,068.