Dubai: Stock markets in Dubai and Abu Dhabi retreated into negative territory on Tuesday, reflecting the sentiment of other Gulf indices, just as global investors sought more clarity on China-US trade relations and monitored another chaotic day on Hong Kong’s streets.
The Dubai Financial Market (DFM) index closed down 0.4 per cent or 11.1 points at 2,662.57, while Abu Dhabi’s ADX inched down 0.2 per cent.
“Participants remain cautious as they monitor reports of trade developments and Hong Kong’s political escalations, and await US President Donald Trump’s speech later in the day,” Shiv Prakash, senior analyst at First Abu Dhabi Bank Securities (FABS), said in a note.
Investors worldwide keenly await Trump’s scheduled speech to the Economic Club of New York late on Tuesday, in hopes that the impasse between the world’s top economies will be broken.
The speech comes after Trump, over the weekend, brought down hopes of any progress after denying reports the US had agreed to cut back tariffs against Chinese goods during the phase one of a trade agreement early next month.
Also, a day after peaceful protests turned violent in Hong Kong, mobs took to the streets on Tuesday and citywide transport disruptions created havoc among commuters.
“Uncertainty over the US-China trade deal and escalating political tensions in Hong Kong contributed to lacklustre performances [overall],” Prakash added.
Analysts said investors will be hopeful after reports that Trump is expected to delay a decision about slapping tariffs on cars and auto parts imported from the European Union by another six months.
Dubai’s top bank Emirates NBD led the losses on the DFM, with shares slipping 2 per cent, which also brought the heavyweight banking index down 0.4 per cent. The bank’s rights issue closed down another 5 per cent at Dh2.4.
In Abu Dhabi, the index dropped 0.6 per cent with developer Aldar Properties shedding nearly a per cent after third-quarter profits declined. Telecoms giant Etisalat traded down 0.5 per cent.
Elsewhere, the Qatari index slipped 0.4 per cent, while Egypt’s EGX 30 dropped 0.6 per cent.
Bucking the trend, however, was Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index, which extended gains for a fourth day. Financial and technology stocks drove gains, with Saudi Telecom Co closing up 1.7 per cent and Al Rajhi Bank rising 0.5 per cent.