Magazine article The Middle East

Dubai Shares Post Fifth Monthly Drop

Magazine article The Middle East

Dubai Shares Post Fifth Monthly Drop

Article excerpt

Dubai stocks slid to a three-week low, capping a fifth monthly decline for the benchmark share index, as plunging crude oil prices curbed appetite for risky assets. Saudi stocks slipped, paring their best month since August, *Bloomberg* reports.

The DFM General Index fell 1.7 per cent to close at 3,674.40, the weakest level since Jan. 8, bringing its retreat in January to 2.6 per cent and extending the longest stretch of monthly losses since 2011. Saudi Arabia's Tadawul All-Share Index decreased 0.4 per cent, trimming its advance this month to 6.5 per cent. The MSCI Emerging Markets Index slipped the most in three weeks as of 4:35 p.m. in Dubai.

Equities in the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council are trading at their most volatile levels since February 2009, underscoring the region's vulnerability to oil prices. The BGCC200 Index, which tracks the 200 biggest and most liquid stocks in the Persian Gulf, fell 0.9 per cent on Thursday, the steepest decline since Jan. 6, as crude traded near a six-year low. The GCC accounts for about a third of the world's proven oil reserves.

"The sentiment in the markets is weak and investors are tracking the drop in international markets," Montasser Khelifi, a Dubai-based senior manager at Quantum Investment Bank Ltd., said by phone today. "The overriding theme is oil."

Oil has tumbled about 40 per cent since the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries decided to maintain output levels on Nov. …

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