Telecoms giant Etisalat buoyed a sluggish market at the opening bell as its shares were one of a rare few to gain.
Etisalat, the UAE's largest company by market capitalisation, buoyed what little shares were traded as it rose 0.5 per cent to Dh10.85. It was one of two shares to rise in early trading in Abu Dhabi, alongside Ras al Khaimah Ceramics, which jumped 4.08 per cent to Dh2.55.
Earlier this week, the company announced the activation of a major submarine telecommunications cable, which spans three continents and is 13,000km long.
The Dubai Financial Market (DFM) General Index slipped 0.02 per cent to 1,602.99 points and the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange General Index fell 0.09 per cent to 2,700.34 points.
Volumes of traded shares are at lows of around 40 million and 60 million on the DFM and ADX respectively.
But real estate stocks dragged on the market.
Aldar Properties fell 0.8 per cent to Dh2.24 and Arkan Building Materials retreated 2.3 per cent to Dh1.7.
Investors' mood in Dubai fared better as seven stocks were up against five fallers as selected real estate and banking stocks buoyed the market.
Dubai Islamic Bank rose 0.5 per cent to Dh2.16 and Union Properties climbed nearly 2 per cent to 36 fils, though Emaar Properties slipped 0.3 per cent to Dh3.38.
Asian stocks rose, sending the MSCI Asia Pacific Index to a 2 and a half-year high for a second day, as increased oil and gold prices boosted commodities companies. US bourses were also up as commodity producers gainer on higher prices for energy and metals amid signs of growing global demand.
Standard & Poor's 500 Index extended its biggest December rally since 1991 as it closed 0.08 per cent up to 1,258.51 points yesterday.
In commodities, gold rose nearly 1 per cent to $1,407.80 a troy ounce, the highest in nearly three weeks, and silver ticked 3.03 per cent higher to $30.3976 an ounce.