Regional bourses buck the global drop

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Shares across the Arabian Gulf finished slightly lower, but were largely unaffected by the political jitters affecting global bourses.

Indexes in Asia and Europe fell sharply amid the growing controversy surrounding the US president Donald Trump. The Nikkei closed 1.3 per cent lower, with the Euro Stoxx 50 down 1.1 per cent in the late afternoon.

The futures markets predicted fresh falls for US stocks, which had their worst day in eight months on Wednesday.

Stocks in the Arabian Gulf by contrast finished relatively unscathed. Bloomberg’s GCC 200, which tracks stocks across the region, closed just 0.2 per cent lower, ending the week up 0.9 per cent, even as oil prices retreated towards early-week levels.

“Over the past week, oil was on a bit of a rip, but GCC markets didn’t really respond all that positively,” said Julian Bruce, the head of institutional trading at EFG Hermes in Dubai. “So when oil and other markets came off the boil there wasn’t as much pressure on local stocks, with profit-taking more pronounced elsewhere.”

Shares in Dubai gave up Wednesday’s gains, closing down 0.5 per cent at 3,378.02, dragged lower by Emaar Properties and DXB Entertainments. Drake & Scull International and Marka resumed their downward trend, closing down 2.7 per cent and 0.1 per cent, respectively.

The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange General Index ended the day down 0.3 per cent at 4,581.30, on the exchange’s quietest trading day in seven months. Shares in Dana Gas were unchanged at 42 fils, after it announced it had received payment of 18 per cent of its outstanding receivables from the Egypt government.

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