Oil price below $50 drags on UAE markets

UAE stock markets fell on Thursday tracking oil prices, which traded below $50.

Property stocks led the decline in Dubai, with the index dipping 1 per cent to 4,123.34.

“The fact that oil price went down below $50 had an impact,” said Sebastien Henin, the head of asset management at The National Investor, an Abu Dhabi-based asset manager. “You also had some profit-taking.”

The builder Arabtec slipped 4.5 per cent to Dh2.3 even after announcing on Wednesday that it was still in talks to build the first phase of a $40 billion low-cost housing project in Egypt.

The most active stock was Damac Properties, which lost 1.3 per cent to Dh3.63, partially reversing the maximum 15 per cent upside on Wednesday following a 50 per cent jump in second-quarter net profit and interim dividend announcement.

“We have seen an overreaction from retail investors because they were very pleased with the interim dividends and that is why prices moved so high yesterday,” said Mr Henin.

Air Arabia fell 1.8 per cent to Dh1.63, while the telecoms operator du fell marginally to Dh5.39. Du said yesterday it began competing with its rival Etisalat last month on fixed line services, a move that will dent profit for the former monopoly.

Meanwhile, shares in the capital closed flat at 4,835.47 mainly on losses in Etisalat.

The telecoms operator’s shares fell 3.1 per cent to Dh13.7.

“Etisalat had benefited from the monopoly in landline services and we know that landline prices are pretty expensive in the UAE, its bread and butter in the UAE market,” said Mr Henin.


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