Stock markets in the Gulf Cooperation Council

Stock markets in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) failed to sustain positive momentum they gained in the first week of February, keeping down or unchanged due to global bearish sentiment.

The Dubai Financial Market (DFM) Index fell Sunday by 1.95 percent and ended at 1,630.81 points. Some 124.75 million shares changed hands on the first trading day of the second week in February.

Dubai investors hoped that a new oilfield discovered offshore last Wednesday would help sustain the mini-rally which occurred during the first week of February, when the DMF Index gained over 4 percent.

However, investors sold real estate, banking and financial shares, which are the major sectors at the DFM. Market bellwether Emaar Properties, developer of the world’s tallest building Burj Khalifah (828 meters), closed 3.32 percent lower at 3.20 dirhams ( about 0.87 U.S. dollar). Investment Bank Shuaa Capital plummeted 7. 46 percent and ended at 1.24 dirhams (about 0.33 dollar). Shuaa reported a full-year 2009 loss of 529.8 million dirhams (about 144. 7 million dollars) compared to a loss of 889.6 million dirhams (about 243 million dollars) in 2008.

Selling pressure spread around the global exchanges as Greece and Portugal are said to be in danger of defaulting on their debt last week, triggering fears of a domino liquidity crunch effect, as it occurred in September 2008 when U.S. investment bank Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy under chapter 11.

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