UAE bourses closed higher with investors shifting their focus from small cap stocks to mid and large cap stocks driven by speculation on a potential upgrade by index benchmarker MSCI.
"Retail investors have made the switch from small cap to large caps," said Julian Bruce, head of equity sales at EFG-Hermes in Dubai. "If you are going to play the MSCI inclusion story, there is no point in buying small caps with marginal index weighting, which is why they are concentrating on the heavyweight companies."
The UAE is a candidate to emerging markets by index benchmarker MSCI. The review, expected in June, could upgrade the country's classification from frontier markets status.
Shares could not sustain the momentum during the first half of the trading session. The Dubai Financial Market closed 0.6 per cent higher to 1600.46. Initially, the index opened up 1 per cent higher.
Arabtec Holding was up 0.6 per cent to Dh1.51. Emaar Properties was up 1.8 per cent to Dh3.32. Du was up1.6 per cent to Dh3.16 a share.
The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange General Index was up 1 per cent to 2659.32 points. Aldar Properties was up 3.2 per cent to Dh1.60. Dana Gas gained 1.5 per cent to 66 fils a share. Ras al Khaimah cement was up 7 per cent to 91 fils.
Elsewhere in the region, Kuwait's index was unchanged at 6369.00. Bahrain's measure lost 0.5 per cent to 1401.95. Oman's benchmark was unchanged at 6375.04. Qatar's index gained 0.5 per cent to 8815.43. The Saudi Tadawul All-Share Index was down 0.5 per cent to 6554.20.