UAE stocks fall ahead of global central bank meetings

Qatar index rises 1%, after falling nearly 4% in the previous session

Gulf News

Dubai: UAE indices fell less than a per cent on Tuesday as traders stayed away from taking fresh positions ahead of key central bank meetings in the US and Japan, and liquidating old ones.

The Dubai Financial Market General Index closed 0.85 per cent lower at 3,455.18, after hitting a low of 3,438.57. Total traded volumes fell to Dh254 million from more than Dh300 million in the previous session.

“We were anticipating less of trading on Tuesday. Risk traders in the Gulf were not expected to do very much, but may sell some positions if they have made profit. It’s too risky,” Sanyalaksna Manibhandu, Director Research, National Bank of Abu Dhabi Securities, said, adding “people were still trading some of the smaller stocks, keeping away from larger stocks.”

Arabtec closed more than 1 per cent lower at Dh1.46, while Gulf Finance House closed nearly 2 per cent lower at Dh0.99. Drake and Scull closed more than a per cent lower at Dh0.490. Shuaa Capital closed 0.45 per cent lower at Dh0.881. Out of 36 stocks traded on the exchange, shares of 24 firms fell, while other 9 rose. The rest remained steady.

In Abu Dhabi, the main stock market gauge closed 0.41 per cent lower at 4,463.86. Eshraq Properties closed 2.47 per cent lower at Dh0.79. Aldar Properties closed more than a per cent lower at Dh2.62. Out of a total of 30 stocks traded on the bourse, shares of 17 stocks fell, while other seven rose.

“It’s ahead of the big decision by the Bank of Japan, and US Federal Reserve. There is a danger of US Federal Reserve lifting rates and a knock-on effect on risk trades afterwards,” Manibhandu said.

The US Federal Open Market Committee will meet later in the day for the meeting, which will continue till Wednesday. Bank of Japan central bank officials will also meet on Tuesday to decide on the future of its stimulus programme.

“Investors need to wait till Thursday, and if they wait till Thursday they will be in a better position to decide which stocks to go in for,” Manibhandu said, adding “if there is a surprise then there could be a fall on Thursday.”

Qatar exchange index was playing a catch up on Monday just like the Tadawul index. The index closed more than a per cent higher at 10,256.52, after losing 4 per cent in the previous session.

“Qatar has the highest advance-to-deposit ratio in the Gulf, which means that banks there have be very careful whom they lend to, so basically makes it for slower economy going forward,” Manibhandu said.

In the rest of the Gulf, Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul index closed 0.18 per cent lower at 5,925.14. Kuwait stock exchange index closed 0.60 per cent lower at 5,398.02.