UAE equities extend losses on ex-dividend stocks, bearish mood
March 24 (Reuters) - Stock markets in the United Arab Emirates extended their losses on Friday, pulled lower by a slew of stocks trading ex-dividend, while falling oil prices and global banking stability concerns also weighed on investor sentiment.
UAE stock markets remained under pressure in line with major global markets, as interest rate hikes and worries over the banking sector crisis and global economic growth rattled local and international investors, said Daniel Takieddine, CEO MENA at BDSwiss.
Oil prices - a key catalyst for financial markets in the Gulf - fell sharply on Friday amid declining European banking shares and oversupply concerns, with Brent crude falling $2.50, or 3.3%, to $73.41 a barrel by 1031 GMT.
Meanwhile, The Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates On Thursday raised its base interest rate by 25 basis points to 4.9%, matching the U.S. Federal Reserve's hike, as most Gulf Cooperation Council countries (GCC), including the United Arab Emirates, have their currencies pegged to the dollar and generally follow the Fed's policy moves.
In Dubai, the main share index (.DFMGI) closed 0.4% lower, dragged down by a more than 5% decline in lender Dubai Islamic Bank (DISB.DU), its biggest intraday fall in over 10 months, as it traded ex-dividend.
The index, however, logged a marginal gain of 0.1% this week after falling for two straight weeks.
Abu Dhabi's index (.FTFADGI) fell 0.5%, in its second consecutive session of losses, pressured by a 2.2% decrease in its largest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB.AD).
The real estate developer Aldar Properties (ALDAR.AD) and ADNOC Distribution (ADNOCDIST.AD), which were trading ex-dividend lost 3.4% and 3.7% respectively.
The index dropped 1.5% on weekly basis, extending the decline for a second consecutive week.
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