Investors were drawn to the transport sector yesterday, with Aramex and Air Arabia among the biggest gainers as traders looked to diversify their portfolios away from banking and property stocks.
The logistics company Aramexrose 0.6 per cent to Dh1.81 as more than 13 million shares changed hands, and the low-cost carrier Air Arabia, based in Sharjah, climbed almost 1 per cent to 68 fils. Close to 4 million Air Arabia shares were traded.
The property and construction sector retreated, with Arabtec slipping 0.8 per cent to Dh1.31 and Emaar Properties falling 1.3 per cent to Dh3.09.
The Dubai Financial Market General Index closed 0.2 per cent higher at 1,555.59 points.
In the capital, the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange General Index edged 0.3 per cent higher to 2,715.06.
Some analysts remained positive about the future performance of the UAE's stock markets.
Akram Annous, a regional equity strategist at Al Mal Capital, said the Government's extension of the visa period for foreign homebuyers and the UAE's potential for an upgrade to emerging-market status would be positive catalysts in the next few months.
"What you have is a bottleneck; you're hoping to get more liquidity as progress is made on these points," he said.
Trading is often lacklustre during the summer months in the run-up to a Ramadan rally. This means the movement of local bourses in the slow period is more likely to be dictated by international equity transactions.