May 19 (Reuters) – Dubai’s stock market closed down on Sunday, dragged lower by property and banking shares as Gulf markets ended the day mixed amid rising geopolitical tensions that have shaken investor confidence.
Dubai’s main index fell 2.2%, led by a 3.1% decline in heavyweight Emaar Properties and a 2.3% drop in bank Emirates NBD. Dubai Islamic Bank fell by 1.6%.
DAMAC Properties, which on May 15 reported its smallest profit since going public in 2015, shed 3.0%, recovering some earlier losses.
Gulf markets have been shaky since the United Arab Emirates said four vessels had been “sabotaged” off its Fujairah coast on May 12 and Saudi Arabia blamed Yemen’s Houthi’s for a drone attack on oil facilities in the kingdom on May 14.
Saudi Arabia’s main index fell 1.1% after ending the previous week with three days of consecutive gains.
A senior Saudi official said on Sunday the country wanted to avert war but was ready to respond with “all strength and determination”.
Al Rajhi Bank fell 1.1%, Saudi Basic Industries (SABIC) fell by 2.3%, and Jabal Omar lost 3.6%. Riyad Bank gained 1.8%.
MSCI said on May 13 it would include MSCI Saudi Arabia in its emerging markets index, effective May 28, a move that could draw billions of dollars into the market.
MSCI said 30 Saudi Arabian securities would be added, representing an aggregate weight of 1.42% in the MSCI Emerging Markets Index.
Abu Dhabi’s index rose 0.3%, recovering from early losses in the session. The bourse was supported by a 0.7% gain in First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) and a 1.0% rise in telecom Etisalat.
FAB, the United Arab Emirates’ largest lender, had fallen in recent sessions after MSCI decided to maintain its foreign inclusion factor at 25%, despite a recent increase in the foreign ownership limit to 40% from 25%.
Qatar’s index was flat as most shares ended lower, offsetting Mesaieed Petrochemical’s 4.5% rise and Qatar Insurance Co’s 1.3% gain.
Originally published on www.nasdaq.com