UAE shares steady amid lacklustre trade

Brent crude oil fell back below US$49 a barrel and short-term technicals for several indexes in the region turned negative over the past few days.

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John Everington

UAE shares were steady on an otherwise lacklustre day for Arabian Gulf equities.

The FTSE’s Emerging Markets Index was up marginally, as gains in South Korea cancelled out losses in China. European equities, meanwhile, were firm, with the Euro Stoxx 50 up by about 1 per cent in the late afternoon.

Crude oil prices continued to reverse after last week's gains, as the prospect of ceasefire talks between the Nigerian government and Niger Delta rebels raised the prospect of increased production. Brent futures fell back below the US$49-per-barrel mark yesterday morning, trading around $47 in the afternoon.

Falling oil prices weighed on Gulf indexes.

The Qatar Exchange closed 0.8 per cent lower, while Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul fell by 0.2 per cent.

Shares in Dubai opened lower, before recovering to end the day virtually unchanged. The Dubai Financial Market General Index closed 0.04 per cent lower at 3,533.83, with Emirates NBD leading the way among big names.

The bank’s shares ended 3 per cent higher at Dh8.45, cancelling out losses from big names including Emaar Properties and Emaar Malls.

Shares in Drake & Scull International fell by 2.2 per cent in early trading, before rallying to end the day unchanged at 48.5 fils.

The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange General Index fell in morning trade before recovering ground to close up 0.5 per cent at 4,535.40, leading gains across the Gulf region.

Shares in FGB and NBAD carried the capital's headline index, closing up 1.6 per cent and 1 per cent, respectively. Aldar Properties fell 0.71 per cent to Dh2.79.

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