UAE stock markets retreat from cliff edge

by on January 3, 2013 8:54 am GMT

UAE markets surged on the first trading day of this year on positive global sentiment, with most blue- chip stocks trading higher.

The Dubai Financial Market index ended 2.7 per cent higher at 1,666.87 points, its highest close since April 24. Property stocks were the biggest gainers.

Union Properties surged 8.9 per cent and the builder Arabtec added 7.1 per cent. Deyaar Properties rose 4.6 per cent.

“Markets are reacting positively after the deal signed in the US regarding the fiscal cliff,” said Sebastien Henin, a portfolio manager at The National Investor.

Another regional trader also said that global sentiment stemming from a resolution to the protracted “fiscal cliff” negotiations was lifting markets.

Property stocks also rose in Abu Dhabi, led by Sorouh Real Estate, which advanced 4.8 per cent, and Aldar Properties, which added 3.9 per cent. Both firms are due to conclude negotiations for a possible merger in the near future, which the market is anticipating.

The broader index ended 1.8 per cent higher at 2,678.22 points.

Anticipation of strong fourth-quarter earnings at Bank Muscat lifted shares, outperforming the broader index which ended near-flat. Bank Muscat ended 1.1 per cent higher, at 0.58 riyals, its highest close since May 8.

“We witnessed some profit-booking on the bluechips, with the exception of Bank Muscat. We believe Bank Muscat in the fourth quarter will be good, and it’s usually the first in the sector to announce earnings, and gives an indication for the rest of the banking sector,” said Adel Nasr at United Securities.

The index ended 0.04 per cent higher at 5,766 points.