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Mon 11 Jan 2016 11:50 AM

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Stock markets: China slowdown worries sours Gulf market sentiment

Asian shares sank to their lowest in over 4 years because of mounting doubts about Beijing's ability to manage the world's second-biggest economy

Stock markets: China slowdown worries sours Gulf market sentiment
(Getty Images)

Gulf bourses extended losses on Monday ahead of the corporate
earnings season and as fears over a China slowdown set the tone for risk-averse
trading.

Asian shares
sank to their lowest in over four years because of mounting doubts about
Beijing's ability to manage the world's second-biggest economy. China's main
indexes slumped more than 3 percent at one point.

Worries over a
slowdown in Beijing soured Gulf market sentiment. Dubai's bourse slid 1.1
percent as initial gains fizzled out. Emaar Properties fell 2.3 percent.

Arabtec bucked
the downbeat mood, rising 3.5 percent after Abu Dhabi's Aldar Properties
awarded the builder a 2 billion dirham ($544.5 million) contract to construct
1,017 luxury villas in the United Arab Emirates capital.

Aldar rose 0.5
percent, helping Abu Dhabi's exchange advance 0.1 percent. Blue-chip lenders
were the UAE capital's main support, with First Gulf Bank and Abu Dhabi Islamic
Bank climbing 0.4 and 1.6 percent respectively.

Regional and
international investors remained cautious ahead of earnings season and this
wariness kept volumes modest.

"Fund
managers will not be willing to take long positions in the market and commit
until all the noise from the panic sell-off is cleared," said a Dubai-based
fund manager.

In Qatar, the
Doha benchmark retreated 0.5 percent, heading towards a third straight decline.

Losers
outnumbered gainers 12 to 1 with property and bank stocks dragging the index
lower. Mazaya Qatar Real Estate Development and Islamic lender Masraf Al Rayan
each fell more than 1 percent.

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