x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

UAE markets 'need catalyst' as traders wait-and-see

Markets Wrap: Equities slip at the close on the first trading day of the week. Investors need catalysts to revive trading as some companies are still yet to report their profits for the first quarter.

Local bourses slipped at the close as investors took a wait-and-see approach ahead of companies that are yet to report their financial statements for the first quarter.

"There's a little bit of consolidation with markets needing a catalyst," said Haissam Arabi, the chief executive of Gulfmena Investments in Dubai. "We're still waiting for bluechips to report their earnings, so it's natural to see stocks moving sideways."

The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange General Index was down 0.1 per cent to 2,690.87 points. Sorouh Real Estate was down 0.7 per cent to Dh1.41 a share after the company disclosed that its profits declined 50 per cent last week.

In the capital, Abu Dhabi's biggest developer Aldar Properties is yet to disclose its results for the first quarter. In Dubai, Drake and Scull International and Arabtec Holding are yet to report.

The Dubai Financial Market General Index declined 0.3 per cent to 1,628.43 points. Emaar Properties, Dubai's biggest developer, declined 1.2 per cent to Dh3.25 a share.

"Markets are experiencing a technical correction," said Nabil Farhat, partner at Abu Dhabi-based Al Fajer Securities. "We are close to the bottom but not there yet."

Elsewhere in the region, Kuwait's measure lost 0.2 per cent to 6,508.30 points. Qatar's benchmark was unchanged at 8,540.54 points. Oman's index was unchanged at 6334.39. Local markets in Bahrain and Egypt were closed for a holiday. The Saudi Tadawul All-Share Index was down 0.4 per cent to 6683.92.