Stock markets in the United Arab Emirates ended lower on Friday, tracking Asian equities as concerns over a global economic slowdown weighed on investor sentiment.
On Wednesday, central bank chiefs from the U.S. Federal Reserve, the European Central Bank and the Bank of England met in Portugal and voiced their renewed commitment to control inflation no matter what pain it caused.
Dubai's main stock index fell 0.7%, pressured by the decline in financial sector stocks, as top lender Emirates NBD dropped 3% and Sharia-compliant lender Dubai Islamic Bank fell 2.1%.
The Dubai stock market saw a volatile trading session as investors reacted to the increasing talk of a recession, in particular in the United States, and the market could extend its losses, said Fadi Reyad, Market Analyst at CAPEX.com MENA.
In Abu Dhabi, equities slipped 0.3%, extending losses to a third straight session, weighed down by a 3.2% decline in conglomerate Alpha Dhabi Holding, while Ghitha Holding dipped 4.3%. The Abu Dhabi Index posted a weekly gain of 1.2%.
Separately, Indonesia and the United Arab Emirates on Friday signed a free trade agreement, strengthening economic ties between Southeast Asia's largest economy and the major Gulf oil producer.
(Reporting by Mohd Edrees in Bengaluru; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi)