By Matt Smith
UPDATE 5: DFM ends lower for 5th session in 6 as losers outnumber gainers 16:3.
Dubai's index DFM ended lower for the fifth session in six as losers outnumber gainers 16 to three.
Declines were broad, with only the banking sector escaping unscathed.
fell 2.3 percent to a week-low, Dubai Financial Market dropped 3.1 percent and telecoms firm
lost 4 percent.
slipped to a two-week low, falling 2.1 percent.
"The market is waiting for more details on the
merger and the merger of
and the Dubai Holding companies," said Samer Al Jaouni, General Manager of Middle East Financial Brokerage Co.
"The lack of information is preventing institutions form putting cash into the market," said Samer Al Jaouni, General Manager of Middle East Financial Brokerage Co.
announced it would merge with three property units of government-linked Dubai Holding, while the shares of mortgage providers
have been suspended since November 2008 pending a mooted merger.
Dubai's index fell 0.8 percent to 2,130 points, its lowest close since Nov. 8.
"There's nervousness in the market and speculators are dominating, with institutions, especially foreign ones, unwilling to commit major cash until a clearer picture emerges on Dubai's real estate sector," said Jaouni.
Abu Dhabi's benchmark ADI dropped 0.9 percent to 2,925 points, its fourth straight decline.
lost 6.5 and 4.9 percent respectively.
Oman's index MSI ended lower for the first time this week following a late slump as volumes hit a 10-month low.
Losses are minor, with the benchmark slipping 0.1 percent to 6,385 points. Just over 6 million shares change hands, the lowest total since Jan. 21.
"Trading has been stagnant for the past few days - everything is moving sideways and a lot of investors are sitting out of the market until after the Eid holidays," said Ahmad Shahin,
"Volumes will probably increase once Eid is over."
led gainers on Doha's index QSI, which outperformed its regional peers for a fourth day as banks also prosper.
climbed 3 percent.
"Oil tanker rates are rising so anything that is a proxy is of interest to us," says Ali Khan, managing director and head of brokerage at Arqaam Capital.
's business model is long term so any short-term volatility is an opportunity to accumulate the stock because it's very much a long-term hold."
rose 4 percent and
Commercial Bank of Qatar
climbed 2.3 percent, extending the previous day's gains.
This week, the Qatar government raised $7bn in a three-tranche bond sale. The proceeds are expected to help state-owned companies.
The index climbed 0.6 percent to 2,930 points, taking its gains to 5.9 percent since Sunday's close.
fell for a third day since it was indicted in a US court on fraud charges.
fell 5.3 percent, taking its losses to 17.6 percent in the three sessions since the indictment.
"The development is clearly negative for
given that the DGS division, which is responsible for providing logistics support to the US government and other agencies, accounted for 36 percent of
's 2008 revenues," Goldman Sachs wrote in a research not.
maintains that these allegations will have no impact on any current contracts with the US government, it definitely limits its ability to bid for any future contracts until the dispute is resolved, the timing of which is difficult to predict."
These concerns have led Goldman to put its
estimates, rating and price target under review.
climbed 2.2 percent, clawing back some of its 22-percent decline this month as investors await news on its protracted takeover by an Indian-led consortium.
Kuwait's index KWSE rose 0.3 percent to 6,724 points. (Reuters)