Dubai: The UAE’s main stocks indices ended lower on Tuesday, albeit marginally, as sentiment remained sour amid concerns about emerging market stocks and currencies as well as trade tariffs.
The Dubai Financial Market (DFM) index slid 0.33 per cent to close at 2,742.98, with most stocks ending in the red. Emaar continued to be the most actively traded stock on the bourse and fell to a low of Dh4.61 in early trade, before inching up to end the day flat at Dh4.71.
Meanwhile, the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX) general index slid 0.13 per cent to end at 4,876.39, with heavyweights including First Abu Dhabi Bank and Etisalat ending flat.
The ADX index fell 1.67 per cent a day earlier amid strong selling activity in most Asian markets as the US said it would impose yet another round of tariffs on $200 billion worth of imported Chinese goods.
“The UAE markets, especially Dubai, [are] getting hit, in our view, on account of global and emerging market factors. Neither the US nor China look to mellow down the rhetoric on the trade war, and this is spooking off investors,” said Vrajesh Bhandari, portfolio manager at Al Mal Capital’s asset management division.
On DFM, Dubai Islamic Bank rose 0.97 per cent, as GFH Financial Group gained 1.48 per cent, and Drake and Scull International increased 1.24 per cent. Meanwhile, Deyaar jumped 5.44 per cent.
The DFM index has shed 18.6 per cent of its value since the beginning of the year, with analysts saying that many stocks on the index are now oversold and have attractive valuations. But there may be more declines to come on the short term, analysts believe, especially amid a slowdown in the property market.
It’s a different story in Abu Dhabi, however, where the main index is 10.87 per cent higher year-to-date. The ADX index has been supported by the banking sector, which is benefiting from a higher interest rate environment, and more recently, news of a possible merger in the sector.
“We see more interest in Abu Dhabi given the ongoing consolidation in the banking sector. Also, the emirate is not much exposed to slowdown in regional trade or tourism,” Bhandari said.