Stocks see final flurries before Eid

Markets make tentative gains as property stocks rebound from lows seen at the beginning of the month, ahead of the closure of markets on Tuesday to mark Eid Al Fitr.

Oman and Qatar markets saw strong gains today. AFP
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Gulf markets rose as traders tried to rake in a few last gains before their closure from tomorrow for Eid Al Fitr.

The absence of firm signals from the US Federal Reserve on Friday that a further burst of monetary stimulus is imminent proved little impediment to markets in the UAE, which made tentative gains yesterday.

Many investors had prepared for a sell-off after high expectations of a new round of quantitative easing, nicknamed QE3.

Instead, stocks on the Dubai Financial Market General Index rose 0.6 per cent to 1,474.52, while the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange General Index gained 0.4 per cent to 2,602.04, despite a slump in volumes.

Elsewhere in the Gulf, Oman and Qatar made strong gains, while Kuwait and Bahrain's markets were flat. Saudi Arabia's Tadawul All-Share Index was closed to mark Eid Al Fitr.

Property stocks that were battered during the turmoil on world markets this month resumed their climb, with Emaar Properties, Aldar and Drake & Scull International rising as investors searched for stocks trading at low valuations.

"Trading at three to four times book value, you start to ask what else can go wrong," said Majed Azzam, a property analyst at AlembicHC. "At least the down side is limited."

The morning's biggest mover was DP World, which rose 4.2 per cent to US$11 a share, moving the FTSE Nasdaq Dubai UAE 20 index up 1.5 per cent to 1,529.64.

The Dubai ports operator reported a near-quadrupling of profits on Thursday during the first half of the year, following the sale of its Australian operations.

National Bank of Abu Dhabi, the UAE's biggest lender by market capitalisation, rose 0.90 per cent to Dh11.25 per share following reports it will issue bonds before the end of the year.