Europe overshadows UAE markets

Markets Update: Investors look to Europe on Monday before putting their money in local stocks on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange and Dubai Financial Market.

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Local markets declined on Monday, as investors searched for cues from Europe, after Standard & Poor's cut Spain's credit rating on Friday and the US revealed economic growth slowed during the first quarter.

Aldar Properties, Abu Dhabi's biggest developer, declined 2.5 per cent to Dh1.15. Eshraq Properties, another listed developer in the capital, fell 5.2 per cent to 36 fils. The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange General Index lost 0.5 per cent to 2498.28 points.

"People are waiting to see how Europe will react to these two triggers released on Friday," said Marwan Shurrab, the chief trader at asset-manager Gulfmena Investments in Dubai.

"If the result is flat in European market, we may see investors building positions here."

The ratings agency downgraded Spain's rating by two notches to BBB+ and added a negative outlook, as it expected the country's economy to contract this year.

US GDP growth slowed to 2.2 per cent in the first quarter amid government cutbacks, and a slowdown in business investment. Economists had forecast the world's biggest economy to grow 2.5 per cent.

Emaar Properties, Dubai's biggest developer, was unchanged at Dh3.26. Tamweel, a mortgage company complying with Shariah rules, lost 0.8 per cent to Dh1.18. The Dubai Financial Market General Index was down 0.3 per cent to 1633.86 points.

Elsewhere in the region, Kuwait's measure added 0.3 per cent to 6360.30 points. Bahrain's index added 0.1 per cent to 1150.47 points. Oman's measure gained 0.2 per cent to 5887.39 points. Qatar's QE Index added 0.1 per cent to 8701.56 points.

The Saudi Tadawul All-Share Index lost 0.6 per cent to 7555.77 points yesterday.

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