Dubai: Poor results and weak global leads dragged UAE indices lower on Thursday, with the Dubai index falling nearly 3 per cent. Rest of the peers in Gulf also fell.

The Dubai Financial Market General index closed 2.57 per cent lower below the keenly-watched 3,000 mark.

“Profit-taking on result announcements from well-followed companies like Emaar, Damac and Dubai Parks with weaker crude prices and steeply lower opening in Hong Kong following the lunar new year break kept the pressure on markets,” Sanyalaksna Manibhandu, Director — Head of Research, National Bank of Abu Dhabi Securities told Gulf News.

Reacting to near flat fourth quarter profits, Emaar Properties reversed early gains to end 2 per cent lower at Dh5.36, while Damac Properties closed more than 4 per cent lower at Dh2.49.

“Having in mind the given bearish characteristics in Emaar Properties, long-term traders should remain neutral at current times with the aim to reposition only after stronger trending characteristics appear on long-term charts,” Menacorp said in a report sent to clients.

Arabtec ended 2.65 per cent lower at Dh1.10. Dubai Islamic Bank closed more than 1 per cent lower at Dh5.75. Gulf Navigation ended less than half a per cent lower at Dh0.813.

Out of a total of 34 stocks traded on the exchange, shares of 33 stocks fell, while only one stock rose.

In Abu Dhabi, the general index closed 0.80 per cent lower at 4,071.80. “Long- and medium-term traders should remain outside of the market while bearish scenarios continue to develop. In the medium-term, the Abu Dhabi market remains strongly bearish, with bearish momentum expected to return,” Menacorp said in a statement to clients.

Most of the stocks in Abu Dhabi also fell. Rak Properties ended down 3.57 per cent to be at Dh0.54, while Aldar Properties closed 2.95 per cent lower at Dh2.30. Dana Gas closed 1.96 per cent lower at Dh0.50.

“The long-term trend is strongly bearish in Aldar Properties at the time being as marked by the fall below many daily strong support zones. Long-term bullish scenarios have been postponed for now and traders should be waiting for fatigue in this descend before considering new positions in this share,” Menacorp said in its report.

Low expectations

“All in all, the UAE equity market investor wants to be driven by corporate releases on the ADX and DFM. External factors, particularly crude, China and central banks around the world, could prove more important than UAE corporate releases,” Manibhandu said.

The Dubai index has shed more than 20 per cent of its value since the start of the year on weakness in crude prices, and going forward, investors would look at results from blue chips among other factors like oil prices and global markets.

“Market has low expectations from Arabtec and Drake and Scull. Dana Gas detail on cash receipts would be much more important than operating performance in 4Q15 and 2015,” said Manibhandu, adding “Aldar is expected to announce its dividend policy. On macro numbers, the January trade data from China, due out on February 15 could prove the most important macro release next week.”

Meanwhile on Thursday, European markets were down more than 3 per cent as investors were spooked by worries over the direction of the global economy and by cautious comments from the head of the US Federal Reserve that were taken to mean no near-term interest rate hikes.