DFM edges down with all eyes on Saudi budget

UAE stocks’ performance were mixed on Wednesday in thin holiday season trading and investor anticipation of the new budget in Saudi Arabia.

The kingdom is expected to announce its budget next week, a move that will give an indication whether the largest Arab economy will rein in its spending.

The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange General Index rose 0.7 per cent to 4,241.73, led by bank stocks. FGB climbed 3.6 per cent to Dh12.7.

“Volume is quite low and Saudi Arabia is expected to announce its budget next week and investors are sitting on the sidelines,” said Vijay Harpalani, a fund manager at the investment firm Al Mal Capital.

The Dubai Financial Market General Index ended down 0.3 per cent at 3,137.32, led by declines in transportation and property stocks.

Emaar Properties dropped 1.3 per cent to Dh5.7. The contractor Drake & Scull International (DSI) fell 1.6 per cent to Dh0.42. DSI said it won a Dh121 million engineering, procurement and construction contract to design and install a chilled water distribution network for an unnamed mixed-use development in Dubai. “The negative sentiment in construction stocks continues after the third-quarter announcements,” said Mr Harpalani.

dalsaadi@thenational.ae

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