Gulf markets open lower on weak oil prices

Stock markets in the Gulf weakened in early trade on Wednesday after oil prices plunged 8 per cent overnight, prompting some local investors to take short-term profits in equities.

Dubai’s index dropped 0.7 per cent in the first hour of trade as Emaar Properties sank 2.2 per cent. Some smaller real estate firms rose, however, with Damac Properties edging up 0.4 per cent.

Bahrain’s Al Salam Bank rose 2.5 per cent after it recommended a cash dividend of 5 fils per share for 2015, unchanged from the previous year despite a 33 per cent drop in annual net profit.

Abu Dhabi’s index lost 0.3 per cent as FGB fell 0.4 per cent, although RAK Properties jumped 8.2 per cent and was Abu Dhabi’s most heavily traded stock after it reported 2015 profit rose to Dh160 million from Dh156m in 2014. For the first nine months of last year, profit had dropped.

Qatar dropped 0.8 per cent as drilling rig provider Gulf International Services sank 3.9 per cent and Barwa Real Estate, the most heavily traded stock, dropped 1.9 per cent. But another real estate firm, United Development , rose 1.1 per cent.

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