Realty stocks propelled the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX) index to close lower yesterday, with turnover easing to a six-week low in the absence of any major buying support.
The drop in oil prices and weak Asian markets also dampened sentiments on the bourse. Realty majors Aldar, Sorouh and RAK Properties all dropped, building the pressure on the index. The Aldar stock fell 1.29 per cent and closed at Dh4.58. RAK Properties eased 1.85 per cent to close at Dh0.53, while Sorouh fell 1.19 per cent to close at Dh2.49.
Aabar Investment moved marginally up by 0.42 per cent to close at Dh2.37. Dana Gas shares fell 1.08 per cent and closed at Dh0.92, while Taqa eased 0.78 per cent to closed at Dh1.27.
"Closing of Q1 2010 as well as the lack of liquidity in the market were the major reasons for bleak trading," Sherif Sanad, Head of Marketing at One Financial, DMCC, told this newspaper.
"It's only the ADX which has been affected by the drop in crude oil prices. Recently, we saw a lot of movement in all the GCC financial markets, which were parallel to the fluctuations of crude oil on international financial markets. However, there's high expectation of good positive movements for crude oil soon and this will affect the local market positively," he said.
Mirroring the bleak trading sentiment on the bourse, the ADX general index eased 0.19 per cent to close at 2859.76, registering a minuscule fall of 5.50 points.
Shiv Prakash, Equity Investment Analyst (Technical) at MAC Capital Advisors, said: "The ADX index closed above the pivot levels of 2857 and we can anticipate it to continue going higher until the 2874-point resistance levels. Bearishness can be seen if the index breaks below 2857 until the next support levels of 2840."
Construction, banking and healthcare sectors closed higher, while telecom, insurance, consumer, industrial, energy and realty indices closed in the red.
NBAD to launch new ETF
After launching the region's first exchange-traded fund (ETF) on March 25, National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) is teaming up with Global Fund to launch another ETF on the ADX.
The objective of the ETF is to fight against diseases such as Aids, tuberculosis and malaria.
The Geneva-based Global Fund will receive a portion of the licence and management fees generated by the ETF for financing healthcare programmes to fight against the diseases, according to DowJones Newswires.
This comes weeks after NBAD unveiled its first ETF in the GCC, the NBAD OneShare Dow Jones UAE 25 ETF.
GCC slips into the red
Barring Qatar, all GCC stock exchanges closed lower yesterday following marginal profit booking after the recent gains.
While the Qatari index gained 0.81 per cent, the Bahraini bourse fell 1.57 per cent with the rest of the bourses ending with less than a per cent in losses.
The buoyancy over the EU's bailout package to Greece was short lived as market players turned sceptical about the sustainability with liquidity coming under pressure.
"Some investors are worried, anticipating that the Greek bailout will be a short-term 'band-aid' and may not be the last bailout to occur. This has impacted trading sentiment to some extent," said a senior equity analyst.
Agilitiy shares on the Kuwait bourse came under pressure following news that US authorities had filed a revised indictment against the logistics company that has been accused of cheating the US defence department.
Tarek Sultan, CMD of Agility, in a note to the DFM, said the company was in discussions with the US Government to resolve the current legal impasse.