Dubai shares topped the regional gainers yesterday as investors took heart from a bounce in global equities and crude prices rising above US$80 a barrel. The Dubai Financial Market General Index rose 1.1 per cent to 1,527.62, spurred by gains in property and financial services stocks. Emaar Properties advanced 2.1 per cent to Dh3.35 while Arabtec Holding rose 2.2 per cent to end trade at Dh1.79. The two companies accounted for more than a third of the day's trade volume.
Emirates NBD, the largest lender in the country by assets, rose 2.8 per cent to Dh2.50, while the Bahraini company Gulf Finance House added 3.5 per cent to close at 55 fils. "There was strong overall participation in the market and we believe the risk appetite is slowly returning," said Chahir Hosni, the equities sales manager at EFG-Hermes in Dubai. "We have been trading sideways for quite some time now and I think it's time to move up."
The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange General Index closed flat at 2,536.89. Abu Dhabi National Insurance Company added 2.6 per cent to close at Dh6.16. Abu Dhabi National Energy Company, or Taqa, ended up 1.6 per cent at Dh1.25. Most other regional markets ended higher. Qatar's main measure added 0.9 per cent and Muscat's 0.3 per cent. Kuwait and Bahrain gained 0.2 and 0.1 per cent, respectively. The Saudi Tadawul All-Share Index declined 0.5 per cent, pulled down by losses in telecommunications stocks.