Stocks end lower on profit-taking

The Dubai Financial Market (DFM) General Index declined 0.8 per cent

Investors in Dubai were quick to lock in profits yesterday after the European equities rally fizzled out and Asian markets mostly closed lower. The Dubai Financial Market (DFM) General Index declined 0.8 per cent to 1,482.12. Emaar Properties and Arabtec Holding, which led the index higher on Tuesday, both fell yesterday. Emaar shed 2.8 per cent to Dh1.71, while Arabtec lost 2.5 per cent to Dh3.12.

The contracting company Drake & Scull dropped 1.2 per cent to 80 fils despite announcing a second contract win in Saudi Arabia in less than a week. In other trading, DFM retreated 2.6 per cent to Dh1.46 and Dubai Islamic Bank fell 2 per cent to Dh1.95. "Given the market situation, investors don't want to sit on the profits for too long," said Nour al Zoubi, the general manager at the brokerage house MAC Sharaf Securities in Dubai.

"The European weakness and mostly negative close in Asian markets also encouraged selling [here]," he said. The Abu Dubai Securities Exchange General Index closed mostly flat for the second session in a row, edging up 0.07 per cent to 2,522.38. The energy company Dana Gas accounted for more than half of the day's trade volume on its way to a gain of 2.9 per cent to 70 fils. Elsewhere in the region, Kuwait's main index was the biggest gainer, adding 1.3 per cent, while the Muscat benchmark added 0.6 per cent. Qatar shares rose 0.4 per cent, while Bahrain's main measure was down marginally.

The Saudi Tadawul All-Share index was the biggest loser in the region, dropping 1.1 per cent.