MIDEAST STOCKS-Declines in oil prices weigh on UAE, Qatar stocks
The Egyptian Exchange - YOUM7 (Archive)

DUBAI: Steep declines in oil prices have dampened investor sentiment, sending stock markets in the United Arab Emirates and Qatar lower in early trade on Wednesday.

Dubai’s index fell 1.0 percent to 3,160 points in the first hour as investors booked profits close to chart resistance at the late December peak of 3,189 points.

Emirates NBD, the largest lender by market value, fell 4.1 percent after adding 2.6 percent on the previous day. The shares go ex-dividend on Wednesday. On Tuesday, Goldman Sachs raised its recommendation for the stock to “buy” from “neutral”.

Builder Arabtec and developer Emaar Properties were sold, each falling by more than 1.0 percent. But builder Drake & Scull and developer Deyaar were up 4.7 and 0.9 percent respectively.

In Abu Dhabi, the stock index fell 0.8 percent with large-cap bank and real estate stocks the main drags. Union National Bank and Aldar Properties dropped 5.0 and 2.0 percent.

Qatar’s main benchmark was down 0.9 percent, weighed down by blue chips. Masraf Al Rayan, the Islamic bank, and Qatar Insurance each declined over 2.5 percent.

Masraf Al Ryan is expected to post annual profit growth of between 8 and 10 percent in 2016, Chairman Hussain Ali al-Abdulla said at the bank’s annual general meeting on Tuesday.

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