UAE stocks take hit from declining oil price

A drop in global oil prices on Thursday led to a day of declines on stock markets in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

Brent crude prices slipped for a third successive day, declining by 0.3 per cent to stand at US$43.89 per barrel by the time the two main UAE bourses closed.

After rallying to more than US$52 per barrel in June, oil prices have come under continued pressure from global markets amid concerns of a glut, with Opec reporting on Wednesday that Saudi Arabia increased output last month despite weak international demand.

The fortunes of Middle Eastern stocks have largely followed the performance of oil prices since global oil prices started to plummet in 2014.

It wasn’t just oil-related stocks that were affected. Banks, insurance companies, real estate developers and building supplies companies all took a hit.

The Abu Dhabi bourse closed down 0.27 per cent at 4,527.01.

The building materials company Arkan was the biggest ­loser, falling 4.7 per cent in trading to close at 81 fils. It was followed by United Arab Bank, which declined by 4 per cent to Dh2.40.

Up the E11 in Dubai, the outlook wasn’t much better. The Dubai Financial Market closed down 0.18 per cent at 3,524.42.

It was led by Dubai Islamic Insurance, which closed 4 per cent lower at 62 fils. The retail group Marka was another of the day’s losers, falling by 3.3 per cent to close at Dh1.15 while investment company Shuaa sank 2.2 per cent to close at 65 fils.

For the week, Dubai was up 1.5 per cent and Abu Dhabi was 0.01 per cent higher.

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