Dubai benchmark slides for sixth day

04/03/2009 00:00 AST

UAE stock markets on Tuesday declined with the Dubai benchmark index declining for the sixth straight day and the Abu Dhabi index dropping for the first time in 10 days.

The Dubai Financial Market General Index shed 2.70 per cent to close at 1,490.02.

In Dubai, Arabtec lost 7.38 per cent to close at Dh1.38; DFM company closed 6.84 per cent lower at Dh1.09 and Emaar Properties dropped 5.45 per cent to Dh1.91.

"No surprises today with buyers happy to sit lower and wait for the sellers to come to them. Dubai failed to defend the 1,500 level and feels adrift this week in the absence of any market moving news," said Matthew Wakeman, managing director of cash and equity linked trading at EFG-Hermes.

"Rumours that are fast becoming stale are no longer able to provide support and spark speculative interest."

The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange Index ended at 2,403.46, down 2.08 per cent.

In Abu Dhabi, Aldar Properties, Sorouh Real Estate and Ras Al Khaimah Cement Company retreated 5.11 per cent to Dh2.23; 5.33 per cent to Dh2.13 and 8.26 per cent to Dh1.11 respectively while etisalat slipped 3.60 per cent to Dh12.05. Abu Dhabi National Energy Company, also known as Taqa, bucked the trend and gained 5.23 per cent to close at Dh1.81.

"ADX just managing to stay positive on the year, a clear regional outperformer right now but also feels to lack direction here and is finding it hard to disconnect from regional moves lower," added Wakeman.

"These short cycles of strength followed by retests of lows are set to be with us for a while until we see significant foreign cash inflows. The cash is on the sidelines but its deployment doesnt look like being any time soon."

DFM failed to hold on to early session strength after its results came in below estimates. The market had priced in results of this kind however so further weakness should prompt buying interest.

Dubai Islamic Bank closed flat, holding onto yesterdays gains. Demand for the stock is underpinned by speculation about unrelated merger and acquisition activity at its subsidiaries Deyaar and Tamweel.

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