Emerging market stocks up on US interest rate expectations

UAE stock markets were little changed on the first day of Ramadan, even as emerging market stocks rose after the US Federal Reserve indicated it would raise rates slower than previously signalled.

The Federal Open Market Committee said late on Wednesday that it anticipated two quarter-point rate rises later this year, but that rate rises in 2016 would be slower than previously expected. The MSCI Emerging Markets Index rose by 0.4 per cent in response.

The Dubai Financial Market General Index closed down 0.6 per cent at 4,063.88, closing down just 0.2 per lower for the week.

Amanat Holdings was the index’s main gainer of the day, closing up 3.0 per cent at 85 fils, its highest level in more than three weeks.

Wednesday gains were erased for shares in the DFM itself, closing down 2.5 per cent at Dh1.95 each.

The index heavyweight Emaar Properties fell by 1 per cent to Dh8.04, after the developer announced that shares in its Egyptian subsidiary Emaar Misr would sell for 3.8 Egyptian pounds apiece when it lists on the Cairo stock market on July 2.

Shares in Amlak Finance, meanwhile, continued their downwards trajectory, closing off 4.3 per cent at Dh1.96. The lender’s shares have lost 16 per cent of their value since hitting their peak value last Wednesday, but are still 92 per cent up since they resumed trading on June 2.

Sentiment was even more muted in the capital, with the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange General Index ending down 0.18 per cent at 4,572.02.

Dana Gas led gains on the index yesterday, closing up 2.3 per cent at 44 fils. RAK Properties rose 1.5 per cent at 66 fils.

At the other end of the spectrum were Eshraq Properties and FGB, which ended the day down 1.3 per cent and 0.6 per cent respectively.

jeverington@thenational.ae

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