Oil worries weigh on Saudi and UAE shares

Shares fell in the UAE and Saudi Arabia on Sunday, as optimism over last week’s hold in United States interest rates gave way to pessimism over oil prices ahead of Monday’s oil producers’ meeting in Algeria.

Saudi Arabia appeared late last week to dismiss the prospect of an agreement at the International Energy Forum in Algiers, despite reportedly offering to cut production levels if rival Iran agrees to freeze production at current levels.

Oil prices plummeted on the news on Friday, with Brent crude futures ending 3.6 per cent down at US$45.89 per barrel.

Saudi equities fell on their resumption of trading following the kingdom’s national day holiday on Thursday. The Tadawul finished the day 0.6 per cent lower, a new seven-month low for the headline index.

Dubai’s headline index, which surged 1.9 per cent on Thursday after the US Federal Reserve’s decision to keep interest rates on hold, closed 0.6 per cent lower at 3,491.69.

Emaar Malls led the sell-off of big names, closing down 2.4 per cent at Dh2.76. Emaar Properties and Dubai Parks and Resorts also fell.

Arabtec was the pick of a handful of gainers, closing up 1.3 per cent at Dh1.52.

In the capital, the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange General Index ended the day 0.4 per cent lower at 4,497.21, dragged lower by FGB and Dana Gas.

Aldar Properties was the index’s only gainer, rising 0.3 per cent to Dh2.73.

In Doha, the Qatar Exchange ended the day 0.2 per cent higher, thanks to gains from Industries Qatar and Ezdan Holding.


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John Everington

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