Shrewd investors looking to take advantage of recent low volumes to move the market to their advantage helped to push the main Dubai bourse to its biggest single session gain in a week.
The Dubai Financial Market (DFM) General Index closed 1.26 per cent higher at 1,678.40 yesterday as investors sought to take advantage of three straight days of losses and low volumes.
"Low turnover usually makes it easier for traders to use volatility to manipulate market trends. Retail investors are trying to benefit from this," said Marwan Shurrab, the chief trader at Gulfmena Investments in Dubai.
Stocks were also being supported by optimism ahead of first-quarter earnings, Mr Shurrab said. Investors will be looking for evidence that companies have bounced back after last year's turmoil.
Air Arabia, the budget airline based in Sharjah, was among the best-performing stocks on the DFM, up 1.84 per cent to 71 fils after investors reacted well to the upping of its dividend.
Arabtec gained almost 3 per cent during the session as investors took advantage of a previous sell-off of the stock to buy. Its shares closed at Dh3.45.
The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange General Index was flat, closing up 0.01 per cent at 2,546.82. The main Kuwait index closed up 0.47 per cent at 6,148.7. The stock exchange plans to launch a new trading system on May 13, backed by the Nasdaq OMX Group , to help trading of financial instruments such as derivatives and Islamic bonds, it said.
Global markets were flat or lower during the session.
However, analysts at BlackRock gave a relatively optimistic outlook, writing in a note that "we believe that for the downturn to gain traction we would need to see some sort of deterioration".