DUBAI, July 1 (Xinhua) -- With a half-year gain of 7.28 percent, the Dubai Financial Market General Index posted the highest advance in the region, but regional indexes closed June lower than the first quarter.
After a strong start into the year, when the Dubai Financial Market General Index gained 21.92 percent in the first quarter, the gauge was hit by a non-stop bombardment of bad news from the Euro zone due to debt crisis. In addition, with fears of a military escalation between Western powers and Iran because of Tehran's nuclear energy ambitions dragged the Dubai market down in the second quarter.
Last Thursday, the gauge closed at 1,451.87 points or 7.28 percent higher than on December 31 2011, leaving Dubai as a top performer among all oil states of the Gulf Co-operation Council ( GCC).
"The double-digit index gains in the Gulf hit many fund managers were hit by surprise," said Gary Dugan, Chief Investment Officer Private Banking at Dubai's largest lender Emirates NBD. Dubai is followed by the Saudi Arabian Tadawul All Share Index which added 4.55 percent in the first six months and closed Saturday at 6,709.91 points. But like Dubai, Riyadh also lost a lot of ground from April to June as in the first quarter the Saudi gauge advanced by 22.10 percent.
However, Dubai and Riyadh managed to outperform the Western bellwether index Dow Jones Industrial in New York which gained 3 percent since January 1 this year.
Elsewhere in the Gulf region, the Abu Dhabi market ADX was the only gauge which ended in the green end of the first half year, gaining 1.83 percent.
The KSE Market Index in Kuwait and the Bahrain All-Share Index lost in the first six months 0.43 percent and 1.49 percent, respectively.
The Qatar Exchange, which was in 2011 the only gaining gauge in the Gulf with a plus of 1 percent, fell since the start of the year by 7.41 percent as investors increasingly doubt that the country can sustain its double-digit economic growth rate it saw from 2006 to 2011.