MIDEAST STOCKS-UAE stocks drop after oil extends losses
Saudi Arabia's stock market

DUBAI: United Arab Emirates stock markets fell sharply on Sunday, erasing all of the prior session’s gains, as investors dumped blue chips to take profit after oil prices extended losses and global markets sold off.

Brent crude settled at $36.88 a barrel on Friday after hitting a session low of $36.41, just 21 cents above a 2004 bottom. Meanwhile, global bourses sank on economic growth worries with the Dow closing more than 2 percent lower.

The Dubai stock index, which had jumped 2.9 percent on Thursday, fell back by the same amount on Sunday morning. Arabtec and Emaar Properties slumped 4.6 and 2.4 percent respectively; the two real estate-related firms accounted for 42 percent of total value traded in the market.

Abu Dhabi’s benchmark retreated 1 percent, dragged down by blue-chip financial stocks. National Bank of Abu Dhabi and First Gulf Bank declined 1.2 and 1.6 percent.

But Dana Gas, the most heavily traded stock on the bourse, jumped 8.9 percent. The surge was partly due to a “catch-up effect” after Dana’s shares were suspended on Thursday, and partly because of a statement issued by Dana on Sunday reiterating that it had settled a business dispute with Germany’s RWE and clarifying details of the settlement, said Sanyalaksna Manibhandu, senior analyst at Abu Dhabi’s NBAD Securities.

Qatar’s exchange was closed for a national holiday, while Kuwait edged down 0.5 percent.

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