Shares firm on bargain hunting

Most regional markets ended slightly higher yesterday

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Most regional markets ended slightly higher yesterday as investors warily added to their positions following the sharp declines in recent days. The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange General Index firmed 0.4 per cent to 2,787.70, helped by gains in property stocks. Aldar Properties, the capital's largest listed developer, advanced 1.9 per cent to Dh3.81, followed by Sorouh Real Estate, which added 1.3 per cent to Dh2.28. RAK Properties, the smallest of the three developers by market value, added 2.1 per cent to 48 fils."Trade volume is better than the last two sessions, but investors are still cautious," said Nour al Zoubi, the general manager at MAC Sharaf Securities in Dubai.

Late buying interest in the bellwether Emaar Properties helped the Dubai Financial Market General Index recover from intraday losses to close up marginally higher at 1,714.21. Emaar shares closed flat at Dh3.80 while Union Properties added 1.3 per cent to 47 fils. "There is no negative news to influence trade here at the moment. We believe the bottom for Dubai is at around 1,670 and it has bounced back many times from that level," Mr al Zoubi said.

Elsewhere in the region yesterday, the Saudi Tadawul All-Share Index rose 1 per cent, the biggest gain in the region, while Qatar's main measure added 0.8 per cent. Muscat shares added 0.3 per cent. The benchmarks in Bahrain and Kuwait each ended 0.2 per cent lower.