MIDEAST STOCKS-Banking shares fall, bucking global trend in UAE, Kuwait
June 29, 2017
Gulf stock markets were mixed on Thursday, with banks in the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait generally weak despite a strong performance by their global counterparts.
The prospect of higher interest rates from central banks around the world, including Britain and Canada, bolstered banking stocks overnight and helped the S&P 500 score its biggest one-day percentage gain in about two months on Wednesday. Banks were also strong in Asia on Thursday.
In Abu Dhabi, the only lender that rose was Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank , which added 0.1 percent. Union National Bank fell 1.7 percent and First Abu Dhabi Bank declined 1.4 percent, dragging the index 0.6 percent lower.
The Dubai index rose 0.4 percent as real estate- related shares were the most active. Builder Drake & Scull was the most heavily traded stock and it fell 1.1 percent, but its peer Arabtec jumped 4.4 percent, recovering from an 8.5 percent tumble on Wednesday.
Daily traded volume in Dubai rose by three-fifths from Wednesday's low level.
"When not much is going on in terms of headline news, some active fund managers start chasing the alpha factor, by buying stock at a low and aiming to sell them at a high," a regional fund manager said.
Kuwait's index fell 0.1 percent with National Bank of Kuwait dropping 3.3 percent Boubyan Bank shedding 1.2 percent.
Markets in Riyadh and Doha are closed for an Eid al-Fitr break and will resume trade on July 2. Egypt was also closed for a public holiday.