A positive global backdrop did little to bring investors back to regional markets yesterday, although most Gulf bourses closed slightly higher. US and Asian markets climbed in advance of yesterday's trading but the spillover effect was limited. "We didn't see the UAE catching up with other markets because of the minimal participation of institutional, local and international investors in the market," said Yazan Abdeen, a senior fund manager at ING.
"When there is less institutional participation, the expectation is that the market will not adhere positively to international fundamental news." The Dubai Financial Market General Index dropped 0.9 per cent to 1,487.93. One broker called it "a bad sign" that the exchange closed beneath 1,500. The bourse's shares also fell 1.3 per cent to Dh1.49. The contracting sector witnessed the most volume, with Arabtec Holding falling 2.6 per cent to Dh1.85, and Drake and Scull dropping 2.2 per cent to Dh0.78.
The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange General Index rose marginally, by 0.3 per cent to 2,519.17. Dana Gas shares rose 1.6 per cent yesterday, to 63 fils, after sinking more than 6 per cent on Tuesday. In response to the earlier stock movement, the company's chief financial officer yesterday said the company had enough cash, liquid investments and funding to deliver on its growth plans. Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank rose by almost 2 per cent, to Dh1.35, as traders anticipated the Abu Dhabi-based bank's acquisition of Royal Bank of Scotland's retail business.
Elsewhere in the region, Kuwait's measure rose 0.2 per cent to 6,542.30 and Qatar's index was up 0.6 per cent at 7,029.21. Muscat's main measure dropped marginally by 0.06 per cent to 6,096.73, while Bahrain's index lost 0.1 per cent to 1,390.81. The Saudi Tadawul All-Share Index closed ahead 0.4 per centat 6,346.44. @Email:firstname.lastname@example.org