DUBAI // Gulf equity markets closed the week on a mixed note yesterday. The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX), which had ended trading higher in six consecutive sessions, was pulled back by losses in the banking and property sectors. The Dubai Financial Market General Index eked out a marginal gain, closing up 0.2 per cent at 1,663.21. Emaar Properties closed up 1.5 per cent while Aramex, the region's largest courier company, gained 1.8 per cent.
"The trade volumes and value in both markets today was the weakest in almost a month. If it wasn't for late buying in Emaar, the market would have closed in the red," said Wadah al Taha, a market analyst based in Dubai. "This is a lingering worry. The market needs a catalyst to lift investor sentiment and get them involved in the trade." The ADX was weighed down heavily by banking and property stocks as investors booked profits on the last trading day of the week. The ADX General Index closed 0.7 per cent lower at 2,705.44.
"It's mostly speculators exiting their investments at the end of the week," Mr al Taha said. "It's also a precaution to reposition portfolios ahead of fresh earnings that will come out next week." Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank and First Gulf bank both retreated 2.2 per cent, followed by the National Bank of Abu Dhabi and the Bank of Sharjah, which closed down 2 per cent and 1.4 per cent, respectively. Aldar Properties and Sorouh Real Estate also declined 1.2 per cent, while Arkan Building Materials dipped 2.2 per cent.
Elsewhere in the region, the Qatar index led the gainers for a second consecutive day, ending trading up 1.4 per cent. Both the Muscat and Kuwait bourses advanced 0.5 per cent, while the Bahrain index retreated 0.5 per cent. The Saudi Tadawul was closed for the weekend. @Email:firstname.lastname@example.org