DUBAI, Sept 20 (Reuters) - Gulf markets finished lower to
flat on Thursday as weak global sentiment on global growth
concerns prompted caution for local investors and Dubai's
measure fell from the previous day's 20-week high.
The emirate's index fell 0.7 percent but has gained
2 percent for the week.
Emaar Properties was the main drag, falling 1.4
percent. Emirates NBD shed 0.7 percent and Dubai
Financial Market lost 1.9 percent.
Logistics operator Aramex bucked the market trend
and rose 1 percent in buying spurred after a cross-trade of 10
million shares. A foreign investor sold shares in the firm,
freeing up allocation for other foreign buyers in the stock,
which is usually at the top limit for foreign ownership, traders
Shares in Nasdaq Dubai-listed DP World also gained,
up 0.9 percent. The ports operator sold non-core operations in
Belgium, the latest in a series of disposals of non-core assets
in developed countries, and has quit a venture in Yemen, it said
"The market mood soured because of international lead to
result in end-of-week profit-taking, but the rally isn't over
yet for UAE," said Firass Yaish economic consultant at Trust
Capital. "There are still a lot of buying opportunities."
European shares and the euro fell on Thursday after weak
Chinese and euro zone data underlined worries about global
economic growth, and a promise of extra oil from Saudi Arabia
also helped to push crude prices to a six-week low.
Investors are taking direction from global markets until
third-quarter earnings, which in the United Arab Emirates are
expected to show strong growth and sustain the prevailing upbeat
sentiment. Earnings season kicks off in early October but UAE
companies are likely to report financials later next month.
"We're quite optimistic for the rest of 2012," said Marwan
Shurrab, vice-president and chief trader at Gulfmena
Investments. "UAE markets have underperformed international
markets for two years and the recent move (higher) doesn't mean
we've even come close to highs of pre-crisis levels, while
international markets have recovered completely."
Elsewhere, Abu Dhabi's measure and Qatar's index
finished near-flat but rose 0.3 and 0.4 percent
respectively for the week.
These markets made early-week gains, spurred by U.S. Federal
Reserve saying it will buy $40 billion of mortgage-backed debt
per month until the job market improves substantially.
Kuwait and Oman's bourses also ended near-flat.
* The index lost 0.7 percent to 1,605 points.
* The benchmark eased 0.05 percent to 2,616 points.
* The benchmark slipped 0.06 percent to 8,600 points.
* The measure declined 0.06 percent to 5,880 points.
* The index ticked up 0.02 percent to 5,603 points.
* The measure gained 0.7 percent to 1,083 points.
(Editing by Bernardo Vizcaino)