File photo: Traders at Dubai Financial Market at Dubai World Trade Centre. Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

Dubai: The Dubai index witnessed another sharp fall for a second time in the week as traders took some money off the table under the pretext of an escalating trade war between the US and China.

The Dubai Financial Market general index closed 2.03 per cent lower at 2,799.83. The index has shed a total of 8.5 per cent in the past three sessions, paring a cumulative gain of 36 per cent since May 21.

“China’s retaliation by way of halting some US imports and letting the currency weaken against the dollar is impacting markets worldwide. Mena equities tend to correlate more with global markets during extreme movements. For the Middle East, tumbling crude oil prices is yet another negative,” Vrajesh Bhandari, senior portfolio manager at Al Mal Capital, told Gulf News.

“It’s not surprising that traders are taking money off the table before going into an extended break for the Eid holidays,” he added.

Emaar Properties fell along with Damac Properties, Arabtec, Emaar Malls, Emaar Development and Aldar Properties. Emaar Properties and Emaar Malls were among the top losers with 3-4 per cent losses. Emaar Properties closed 3.25 per cent lower at Dh5.06. Emaar Properties contributed to more than a fourth of the total traded value of Dh204 million. Emaar Malls ended 4.83 per cent weaker at Dh1.97. The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange general index closed 1.87 per cent lower at 5,083.16.

Aldar Properties closed 1.35 per cent lower at Dh2.19. First Abu Dhabi Bank closed 2.21 per cent lower at Dh15.04. Saudi Tadawul index was 1 per cent weaker at 8,471.03.

Global equities were not spared either. The MSCI emerging market index was 2.21 per cent lower at 981.62. The Dow Jones futures was 1.29 per cent lower at 26,108. The S&P 500 futures was down 1 per cent to be at 2,893.00.

“Asian stocks sold off aggressively on the back of escalating tensions in the Middle East, unsettled trade talks between the US and China, and another week of street protests in Hong Kong,” Ipek Ozkardeskaya, senior market analyst at London Capital Group, said.

Amid the uncertainty, investors sought refuge in gold, which is considered as safe haven asset.

Gold continuous contract was up 1 per cent to be at $1,470.60 an ounce after gaining 2.7 per cent last week. Bitcoin prices also jumped 10 per cent to be at $11,755.02.