UAE’s stock markets rise on financials and property shares - GulfToday

UAE’s stock markets rise on financials and property shares


Emiratis work on the floor of the Dubai Financial Market. Dubai reopened its Dubai Financial Market stock exchange on Tuesday after closing its floor due to the coronavirus pandemic. Associated Press

The United Arab Emirates stock markets closed higher on Tuesday, led by financials and property shares. Dubai’s main share index gained 0.5%, led by a 1.5% rise in blue-chip developer Emaar Properties and a 0.5% gain in Emirates NBD Bank.

Amlak Finance surged 14.6%, its biggest intraday gain since Dec. 2019, after signing an agreement with Dubai Land Department allowing customers to invest in properties listed by the firm.

The Abu Dhabi index rose 0.5%, with the country’s largest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank rising 0.9%, while Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank added 1.3%, a day after the sharia-compliant lender said it had raised its foreign ownership limit to 40% from 25%.

The blue-chip index in Egypt slipped 0.3%, ending three sessions of gains, hurt by a 3.8% decline in tobacco monopoly Eastern Company.     Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index edged up 0.1%, helped by a 0.8% increase in oil giant Saudi Aramco and a 3% gain in Abdullah Al Othaim Markets.

Meanwhile, global stock markets fell on Tuesday as fears sparked by fresh lockdowns and bad economic news prompted profit-taking after strong gains the previous session.

European indices slipped after a pessimistic growth forecast by the European Commission which said the eurozone economy will contract by 8.7 per cent in 2020 due to the coronavirus crisis.

Sentiment in Europe and US was also undermined by a bout of late selling in Chinese markets, although Shanghai managed a slightly firmer close.

China’s foreign exchange reserves rose less than expected in June as the yuan strengthened and global asset prices rebounded amid a recovery in economic sentiment.

The country’s foreign exchange reserves - the world’s largest - rose $10.64 billion in June to $3.112 trillion, central bank data showed on Tuesday. Reserves stood at $3.102 trillion in May.

Economists polled by Reuters had expected the country’s reserves to rise by $18.31 billion.

European markets were up to 1.5 per cent lower at the close, while on Wall Street the Dow Jones index was around 180 points lower by the late New York morning.

The easing of lockdown measures and reopening of economies has been the key driver of a months-long surge across equities, but a new surge of infections in several countries gave investors pause.

Melbourne, Australia’s second-biggest city, has locked down more than five million residents after virus cases there surged.

The US job market took a big step toward healing in May, though plenty of damage remains, as a record level of hiring followed record layoffs in March and April.

The Labor Department reported on Tuesday that the number of available jobs rose sharply as well, but remained far below pre-pandemic levels.

The figures, from the government’s job Openings and Labor Turnover survey, or JOLTS, illustrate the whiplash the economy has experienced since the pandemic intensified in mid-March. Layoffs soared in March to a stunning 11.5 million, roughly four times the peak during the 2008-2009 recession. They remained extraordinarily high in April, at 7.7 million, but in May they fell back to pre-pandemic levels of 1.8 million.

Hiring, meanwhile, plunged in April to 4 million, the lowest level since 2011, but jumped to 6.5 million in May. While that is the most hires on records dating back to 2000, it wasn’t nearly enough to offset the roughly 19 million layoffs in March and April.

And whatever ground has been recaptured to this point is now being imperiled by a resurgence of COVID-19 cases throughout the South and West. Despite a solid rebound in employment, the job market remains badly damaged, both by mandatory lockdowns and the reluctance of people to again visit restaurants, theaters or to travel freely, at least until a vaccine or an effective treatment for the virus is available. The US dollar inched higher against a basket of currencies on Tuesday, holding above the near two-week low hit in the previous session, as investors turned uneasy over new coronavirus flare-ups and local lockdowns in some countries.

The US Dollar Currency Index, which measures the greenback’s strength against six major currencies, was 0.03% higher at 96.774.

Oil prices edged lower on Tuesday amid concerns that a surge in new coronavirus cases, especially in the United States, will hamper any recovery in fuel demand.

Brent crude futures declined by 7 cents, or 0.16%, to $43.03, by 1404 GMT, after hitting a session low of $42.46. US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures fell 12 cents, or 0.30%, to $40.51 a barrel, having fallen to $39.90 earlier in the day.

“Oil prices are lower today on concerns that the surge in coronavirus cases in the US will limit a recovery in fuel demand,” bank RBC said.

Sixteen US states have reported record increases in new COVID-19 cases in the first five days of July, according to a Reuters tally.

Florida is reintroducing some limits on economic reopenings to grapple with rising cases. California and Texas, two of the most populous and economically important US states, are also reporting high infection rates as a percentage of diagnostic tests conducted over the past week.


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