Shares in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) ended higher on Friday as investors fretted over weaker global growth and more aggressive interest rate hikes, appearing to shrug off lower oil prices. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said on Thursday that the central bank will adjust interest rates at a “prudent pace” as policymakers approach the stopping point of a historic round of monetary policy tightening.
Most Gulf currencies are pegged to the dollar, and any monetary policy changes in the United States are usually followed by the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Meanwhile, crude prices, the main driver of the Gulf economies, fell for a second day on Friday and were on track for a weekly loss, with Brent down 91 cents to a barrel by 1110 GMT $73.23, down 1.2%.
In Dubai, Emirates NBD Bank , Dubai’s largest lender, rose 1.1 percent, with the benchmark rising 0.4 percent, as Dewa rose 1.9 percent. Blue-chip developer Emaar Properties rose 0.8 percent.
The Dubai index edged up 0.1% for the week, its third straight weekly gain. Abu Dhabi rose 0.3%, its sixth straight session of gains, helped by gains of more than 1% by the country’s largest lender, First Abu Dhabi Bank, and by Alpha Dhabi Holding ) rose 3.1%. The index rose 1.2% for the second straight week.
- Abu Dhabi up 0.3% to 9,557
- Dubai up 0.4% to 3,793
(Reporting by Shamsuddin Mohd, Bengaluru; Editing by Alexander Smith)