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Possible U. S. gov’t shutdown weighs on Dubai market

The DFM General Index closed 0.30% lower at 2,753.61 points on Monday. After the U. S. lower house voted for a delay of president Barack Obama's proposed healthcare reform package, the probability over a government shutdown from Oct. 1 on rose as ruling Democrats and oppositional Republicans remained stuck in a political deadlock. Emaar gained 0.70% to close at Dhs5.83. Arabtec Construction lost 1.13% to Dhs2.62. Yesterday Arabtec said it raised the salaries of 36,000 workers by 20% "within its efforts to strengthen the company's position in human rights." Arabtec, the builder of the world's tallest tower Burj Khalifa (828m), was hit by a minor workers' strike in May this year, after over 460 men from mostly Central Asian countries refused to appear at work over a wage dispute. The strike which took place at labour camps in Dubai ended with the participants quitting their jobs. The men were eventually sent back to their home countries. Market breadth was rather negative at the DFM as 5 shares advanced, while 24 stocks declined. 986m shares were traded, valued at Dhs898m.