Monday, 04 June 2012 19:40
DUBAI: Most Gulf markets retreated on Monday, trading on muted volumes, as sliding oil prices and further declines on overseas markets kept investors at bay.
Global trends dominated moves in Gulf bourses due to a lack of regional catalyst in company news or economic developments.
The United Arab Emirates' bourses were the biggest losers, with both Dubai and Abu Dhabi slumping to four-month lows.
Dubai's index ends 0.3 percent lower, its lowest close since Feb. 2. Trading volumes were down by more than a third from Sunday.
Property-related stocks head Dubai's losers. Heavyweight Emaar Properties dropped 1 percent, Deyaar loses 4 percent and builder Arabtec shed 1.4 percent.
"The fact that volumes were muted show there is not much selling pressure," said Sebastien Henin, portfolio manager at The National Investor. "Global factors will drive Gulf markets, but I'm not expecting any major impact."
Abu Dhabi's index fell 0.2 percent, its lowest close since Jan. 30. Trading volumes are the lowest since mid-January.
National Bank of Abu Dhabi was the main drag, falling 2.4 percent, but Aldar Properties and Sorouh Real Estate added 3 and 1.1 percent respectively.
Uncertain worldwide growth outlook flushed more investors out of riskier assets, sending global shares and commodities down, despite signs that a drive by Europe's leaders to tackle the region's debt crisis was gathering momentum.
Brent crude extended losses to hit a 16-month low below $96 a barrel.
Meanwhile, Saudi's index bucked the trend and advanced for a second session this week, regaining some lost ground from a drop of 4.2 percent on Saturday.
"The pressure we saw on Saudi was mostly due to petrochemical stocks. However, markets were expected to recoup these losses," said Henin.
The bourse ended 0.3 percent higher. Bellwether Saudi Basic Industries Corp. gained 1.4 percent and Al Rajhi Bank added 0.4 percent.
In Kuwait, logistics firm Agility advanced 2.8 percent.
Agility said on Monday that it had acquired a 62 percent stake in United Projects for Aviation Services Company (UPAC) , an airline support service and transport provider, for 26 million dinars (US$ 92.7 million). UPAC's shares ended 7 percent higher.
Kuwait's index ended 0.5 percent lower.
Copyright Reuters, 2012