UAE's markets start week slowly

Markets Update: Local markets slump in early trading following fresh worries from the eurozone sovereign debt crisis, with Abu Dhabi's market extending losses after last week's MSCI upset.

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The UAE's markets began the week in languid form, with trading activity slumping amid concerns around the eurozone sovereign debt crisis.

The Dubai Financial Market General Index was flat at 1,367.59, while the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange General Index slid 0.2 per cent to 2,407.75.

Most stocks remained unchanged after fresh warnings from Fitch Ratings on Friday that France's "AAA" credit rating could face a downgrade, convincing many investors to leave cash on the sidelines.

Local markets plunged on Thursday after the UAE and Qatar failed to secure an upgrade to "emerging market" status from MSCI, the index provider.

Etisalat's stocks continued their slow descent this morning, with the UAE's biggest telecommunication company's stocks sliding 1.2 per cent to Dh9.35 each, their lowest level since December 2009.

Emirates NBD's stocks were unchanged at Dh3.17 each, after analysts from HC Securities slashed their target price on speculation that the UAE's biggest bank by assets may be forced to acquire Amlak Finance.

The 20.4 per cent cut in target price to Dh3.90 per share per reflects "the bank's relatively poor earnings outlook, a potential increase in the concentration risk of its loan portfolios, the negative impact of the Dubai Bank acquisition, and a potential acquisition of Amlak", analysts said in a research note.

Saudi Arabia's Tadawul All-Share Index rose 0.2 per cent to 6,253.66 yesterday, the only Gulf market trading.