Gulf stock markets close slightly higher amid thin volumes

UAE equities closed marginally higher on a quiet day of trading on Tuesday, as the prospect of Brexit continued to depress shares in Europe and beyond.

Polls showing increasing support for a British exit from the EU provoked an increasing demand for sovereign bonds in preference to equities. The Euro Stoxx 50 traded around TKTK per cent down late on Tuesday afternoon, with the FTSE 100 off TKT per cent.

Oil prices continued to drift lower on a strengthened US dollar. Brent crude futures dropped below US$50 per barrel for the first time in over a week, trading at around TKT per barrel during the late afternoon.

The Dubai Financial Market General Index ended the day 0.2 per cent up at 3,329.71, with trading volumes on the emirate’s headline index less than half of the daily average for the year to date.

Shares opened slightly lower, but ended the day in positive territory, thanks to gains by DIB and Emaar Malls. Emirates NBD and Damac Properties led losses among big name stocks, each closing down 1.2 per cent.

Trading on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange hit a five-year low, with less than 30 stocks traded during the day.

The capital’s headline index finished up 0.4 per cent at 4,386.42, boosted by late gains by NBAD.

Etisalat and FGB were among the other big name gainers, cancelling out losses by ADCB and ADIB.

The Qatar Exchange Index led gains across the Arabian Gulf, closing 0.5 per cent higher. Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul All Share Index closed 0.5 per cent higher.

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