Decline in oil prices weighs on bourses

Shares in Saudi Arabia fell sharply today, responding to lower oil prices and wider emerging market sell-downs over the past week.

The Tadawul ended its first day of trading after the five-day Eid break down 1.8 per cent.

The sell-off came after a 4.5 per cent drop in MSCI’s Emerging Markets Index over the holiday period, motivated by fresh speculation that the US Federal Reserve may raise interest rates on Wednesday.

Stocks were further subdued after oil prices closed last week at one-month lows, as the prospect of resumed shipments from Libya and Nigeria stoked concerns of a global supply glut.

The Qatar Exchange, which also resumed trading today, fared somewhat better, closing up 0.3 per cent, following gains in Ezden Holding and Ooredoo.

Markets in the UAE, which resumed trading on Thursday, were more muted today.

The Dubai Financial Market General Index ended a quieter than average day virtually unchanged, closing up 0.03 per cent at 3,483.32.

Emirates NBD was the pick of the big-name gainers, ending up 1.7 per cent at Dh8.34, offsetting declines by Dubai Investments and DIB.

Abu Dhabi’s headline index ended 0.2 per cent lower at 4,486.28, owing to late falls by FGB and Etisalat. ADCB and ADIB led gains, closing up 1.1 per cent and 0.5 per cent respectively.

Eshraq Properties finished the day 1.2 per cent higher at 82 fils, after the developer announced plans to spend up to Dh500 million on the acquisition of residential buildings and hotels offering a “good rental return”.

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John Everington

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