x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

Property gains lead UAE market lift

Markets across the region follow the recent positive trends and posted gains, aided by strong global equities.

Abu Dhabi and Dubai's markets continued their recent ascent today, led by a surge in property stocks. Aldar Properties of Abu Dhabi jumped 8.1 per cent, helping to lift the bourse by 1.57 per cent to 2,933 points at the close of trade. Dubai's market, also lifted by a rise of 6.6 per cent by Emaar Properties, closed up 1.98 per cent to 1,958 points. Most markets across the region followed the recent positive trends and posted gains, aided by strong global equities.

"Gulf markets are closely correlated with what is happening globally because of the lack of news and volatility here," said Samer al-Jaouni, general manager of Middle East Financial Brokerage. He added that Friday's comments by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, that the financial crisis was a "passing cloud" also helped support the UAE indexes. Kuwait's index edged up 0.53 per cent - its first rise in six sessions - led by telecoms giant Zain, which closed the day 5.4 per cent higher.

Banks drove Qatar's bourse higher, while the telecoms firm Batelco was among gainers in Bahrain, ending 0.9 per cent higher after its chief executive said the firm was eyeing an acquisition in North Africa valued up to US$2 billion (Dh7.35bn). Qatar's index rose 0.39 per cent to end at 7,073 points, after posting losses for the past two sessions. Bahrain's bourse closed up 0.62 per cent, gaining for a second consecutive day.

Muscat's benchmark continued to hit record highs for the year as it closed at its highest level since last November, boosted by the oil price and improving sentiment in global equities. Oman's bourse ended 1 per cent higher at 6,479 points. The telecoms company Omantel lead the advance, but Construction Materials Industries was the day's biggest gainer, ending with a rise of 9.8 per cent rise. Saudi Arabia's Tadawul index was flat, closing just 0.05 per cent lower after bucking a seven-session losing streak on Saturday.

Global shares and oil prices rose on Friday after a report showed US job losses in August were the smallest in a year and the IMF raised its forecast for world economic growth this year and next. * With Reuters