Stock markets in the United Arab Emirates fell on Friday as investors awaited key U.S. inflation data due later in the day for clues on future interest rate moves by the U.S. Federal Reserve. A record monthly drop in the euro zone's inflation rate has raised investors' expectations for similar U.S. data later in the day. The euro zone inflation numbers showed consumer prices rising 6.9% in March after an 8.5% increase in February.
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, exposing the country to a direct impact from any Fed monetary tightening.
In Dubai, the main share index fell 0.6%, ending a three day rally, with real estate and financial stocks leading the losses. The index logged quarterly gains of 2.1%, but was down 0.9% on monthly basis. The blue-chip developer Emaar Properties dropped 2.1% and Dubai Islamic Bank and Dubai Investments slid 2.4% and 2.1% respectively. Amanat Holding also gained more than 1% after it announced the launch of its new healthcare platform Amanat Healthcare and plans to explore a regional IPO of the new entity in the near term.
Abu Dhabi's index also lost 0.5%, dragged down by a 1.8% slide in First Abu Dhabi Bank, the United Arab Emirates' biggest lender, and a 0.9% decline in Alpha Dhabi Holding. The index headed for its biggest quarterly loss since the first quarter of 2020, of 7.7%.
- ABU DHABI fell 0.5% to 9,430 points
- DUBAI lost 0.6% to 3,407 points
(Reporting by Shamsuddin Mohd in Bengaluru; Editing by Jan Harvey)