Font Size

- Aa +

Thu 16 Oct 2008 10:16 AM

Font Size

- Aa +

Gulf markets fall amid recession fears

UPDATE 4: Global stock market falls are replicated locally as all bourses end down.

Gulf Arab stock markets struggled on Thursday, tracking Asian stocks, as fears of a global recession continued to weigh on investors' minds.Dubai's main index finished 6.53 percent lower at 3,204 points, on Thursday as falls in global stock markets affect regional markets.

Banks and real estate stocks lead the UAE lower with Abu Dhabi's benchmark liding 4.51 percent to 3,366 points.

"If we weren't looking at what is happening abroad I would expect a bounce from these levels," says Mohamed Alami, senior equity trader at Naeem Shares & Bonds in Dubai. "The markets are attractive at these levels."

In Dubai, Emaar Properties and Dubai Islamic Bank led falls, declining 9.66 percent and 7.84 percent respectively.

In Abu Dhabi, Emirates Telecommunications Corp (Etisalat) fell 6.07 percent and First Gulf Bank 9.79 percent. Sorouh Real Estate declined 9.96 percent.

Qatar's main index closed 3.64 percent lower with Commercial Bank of Qatar leading declines ending 6.7 percent lower.

Trading in Qatar Electricity & Water shares were suspended until the end of the trading session after the firm reported its third quarter earnings during trading hours, the Doha bourse said in a statement on its website.

Trading in the stock will resume on Oct. 19, it said.

Kuwait's benchmark ended 1.5 percent lower at 11,543 points led by National Bank of Kuwait which fell 2.25 percent, while Bahrain dropped 1.17 percent to 2,318 points.

Oman suffered its biggest one-day fall in just over a week with Bank Muscat and National Bank of Oman leading declines, sliding 6.94 percent and 4.71 percent respectively.

Muscat's index closed 5.74 percent lower at 7,248 points.

"Everybody is watching the US," said Sankar Kailasam head of research at Gulf Investment Services. "There is a fear of a global recession spilling into the region."

Shares in National Bank of Oman fall after the bank reporting a 25.4 percent rise in third-quarter net profit.

All markets except Saudi Arabia closed lower on Wednesday.

"The negative sentiment prevailing on global markets continues to weigh on regional markets," said Rami Sidani, head of Middle East and North Africa investment at Schroders Investment.