The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX) saw sideways trading yesterday as realty, industrial, consumer, construction and energy stocks closed higher while telecom and healthcare stocks closed in the red.
The general index closed flat but on the lower side for the second session in a row. Reflecting its usual stable pattern of trading, the index closed 5.08 points, or 0.18 per cent, lower at 2861.10 points. The trading turnover soared by 46.24 per cent to Dh309.35 million from Dh143.07m on Monday. More than 139 million shares were traded in 2,947 transactions involving 34 stocks. Twenty stocks gained, nine declined and five closed at their previous levels.
"Most of the large caps closed flat, while small stocks are back in action on the bourse," said Hussam Al Husseini, Head of Brokerage at Emaar Financial Services. "However, most of the activity was concentrated on selected active stocks."
Rapco, Asmak, Bildco, ADSB and Agthia were the top gainers while EIC, RAKbank, Bank of Sharjah, QCEM and GCIC closed lower. Aldar, Sorouh, Dana Gas, etisalat and Agthia were the top contributors to turnover, while Aldar, Dana Gas, RAK Properties, Sorouh and Waha Capital were the major volume pushers.
Shiv Prakash, a senior technical analyst at MAC Capital, said: "The market is expected to continue to trade sideways in a 20-point range from the support level of 2852 to the resistance at 2875."
Real estate majors Aldar, which added 1.99 per cent to close at Dh4.10, RAK Properties, up 1.89 per cent at Dh0.54, and Sorouh, up 3.35 per cent at Dh2.47, supported the index.
Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, National Bank of Abu Dhabi, Sharjah Islamic Bank, Union National Bank and Waha Capital moved up, while RAKbank, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank and Bank of Sharjah closed lower.
International cues were positive as oil was trading at above $80 a barrel. But local factors, rather than global ones, are weighing on the region's stock markets. Among the energy stocks, Aabar and Dana Gas rose while Taqa closed flat at Dh1.21. Aabar gained 0.44 per cent and closed at Dh2.27 while Dana Gas moved up 2.27 per cent to Dh0.90.
GCC bourses recover
The GCC bourses, with the exception of the ADX and Kuwait, recovered yesterday, with Qatar leading the way.
Kuwait eased 0.69 per cent while Qatar added 1.66 per cent and the remaining indices closed in the range of less than one per cent.
A marginal rise of 0.54 per cent took the Saudi Tadawul to a 16-month high as Samba, Sabic and other banking stocks boosted market sentiment. The Qatar index reached a three-month high, aided by banking stocks.
Kuwait declined as Zain and Agility came under pressure. Zain had been moving up following stake sale news, but yesterday the price fell. Agility ended flat.
Palestine Telecom told the ADX that its board meeting is on March 28. Commercial Bank International's board meeting will be held on March 20. FTC has disclosed its financial results to the bourse.
The board of National Bank of Abu Dhabi has approved the distribution of a 10 per cent cash dividend and 10 per cent bonus shares. Abu Dhabi Ship Building has disclosed its chairman's report for 2009.
Mixed trend in telecom shares
Telecom shares listed on the UAE's bourses enjoyed mixed fortunes yesterday after the country's telecom regulator gave permission to three operators to provide VoIP services.
Etisalat fell after hitting a year's high on Sunday. The telecom major's shares declined 1.59 per cent and closed at Dh12.35. Sudan Telecom gained 4.32 per cent to close at Dh2.90.
Meanwhile, du gained 1.4 per cent and closed at Dh2.89 on the Dubai bourse.